Residency status not right marker for STR conversations
Pitkin BOCC has not analyzed and conveyed the fiscal impact of their proposed limitations on short-term rentals. A luxury Red Mountain property listed on Airbnb will generate $29,000 in Pitkin County occupancy taxes fees for a 29-day rental, but $0 when rented for 30 days. If this home is rented for 100 days, it will produce approximately $100,000 of STR tax revenue that benefits our community.
Even more disturbing is the potential loss of property tax revenue. The elimination of an important property right, such as the right to rent one’s property, is likely to impact property values by at least 10% to 15%. A typical property on Red Mountain currently pays over $15,000 per year to the Aspen School District in their property tax bill, as well as substantial amounts to over a dozen other local entities and organizations. A 10% loss of property value creates a direct and measurable impact to the funding available to these important organizations, including our schools.
Finally, high-net worth, short-term renters are much more likely to be spending significant amounts at our local restaurants, shops and on leisure activities than long-term renters, thus generating substantial sales tax revenue for our local economy and ensuring the financial success of our local businesses.
Limiting STRs to an owner’s “primary residence” will have a direct and drastic fiscal impact, with little or no benefit to the community. The location of the home itself, rather the homeowner’s residency status, is the most important factor to be analyzed. Certain neighborhoods, such as those traditionally populated with second homeowners, can easily support a reasonable number of STR nights with few, if any negative impacts to the neighborhood itself. These mostly vacant homes have never been part of the affordable housing stock, and require substantial property management, regardless of whether occupied or empty. Reasonable limitations for all STRs, such as a maximum number of STR days and occupants, and prohibitions on parties and events, should be considered, not residency status.
Denise Shea Malcolm