Letter: Are short-term rentals still residential properties?
I have been reading various letters and articles on short-term home rentals here and in other places that I have visited. It seems that this is a situation that is being addressed in most cities, towns and resort communities across this country. I read Mike Reid’s column in the Vail Daily on Thursday, July 27 and he listed some important points concerning these short-term rentals.
One item that no one has discussed is how these “residences” are taxed. Are they still considered residential properties when the owners have to have a business license, usually have to have an inspection to make sure they are safe and collect sales taxes?
As an owner of a vacant lot here in Eagle County, I am required to pay more in property taxes than a residential property that has a home built on it. This was done in Colorado to keep the residential rates equitable and so they did not change too drastically for the citizens owning homes. These laws were enacted under TABOR and then the Gallagher Amendment. Simply put: Those of us with raw land and/or commercial property pay a higher rate. So, in essence, we are subsidizing businesses that are masquerading as residential properties.
My question is that if these properties are businesses, then why do they get preferred residential tax status just because they are a residential property? It does not seem fair to me. It seems to me that they should be reclassified and have to pay commercial tax rates since they are a business.
Anyone care to reply?