Council approves code changes related to sales tax system, enforcement
On July 20, Snowmass Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance and intergovernmental agreement related to the state’s Sales and Use Tax Administration law; and an ordinance adopting minor changes to the town’s municipal code and the 2020 State of Colorado Model Traffic Code on first reading. Council also received a public health update related to the COVID-19 crisis from Pitkin County officials and celebrated a council member’s mom’s 100th birthday. Here’s the recap:
COUNCIL APPROVES ORDINANCE, IGA RELATED TO STATEWIDE SALES TAX COLLECTION CHANGES
Snowmass Town Council unanimously approved an ordinance amending certain definitions in the town’s municipal code and a resolution bringing Snowmass into an intergovernmental agreement with the state July 20 — both in response to the state’s Sales and Use Tax Administration law that went into effect June 1, 2019.
The law, which was a result of the Supreme Court’s South Dakota vs. Wayfair decision, requires all retailers, including those that do not have a physical presence in Colorado, to collect and remit state and local sales tax, according to town documents.
As explained by Marianne Rakowski, town finance director, the town’s finance department and town attorney have been a participant in the Colorado Municipal League Sales Tax Simplification Committee, which examines sales and use tax issues and has been reviewing the impact the Wayfair decision has at the state and home rule municipality levels.
The committee recognized the difficulties of home rule municipalities to collect taxes from businesses that do not have a physical presence there, town documents say. That’s why to streamline the collection and remittance process on all levels, the town (along with other state municipalities) is opting to join the state’s sales and use tax system.
This will allow the town of Snowmass Village to legally collect taxes from businesses with no physical presence in the village both through the state and its own system, including marketplace facilitators who collect on behalf of third-party sellers and businesses that are only connected to Snowmass by economic presence, town documents state.
It also will give businesses that have multiple locations throughout the state the opportunity to utilize a “one-stop shop” concept for remitting their sales taxes through the state system versus through multiple municipality portals, town documents explain.
“By joining the state’s portal, the town gains the ability to receive additional sales taxes from interstate businesses without causing an undue burden on those businesses,” town documents say.
At the July 20 meeting, Rakowski further explained that the town uses the same online portal vendor for its sales and use tax collection and remittance processes as the state: MuniRevs. The town’s move to be a part of the state’s portal as well won’t really change how local businesses collect or remit taxes and won’t really change the way remitted funds flow to the town, she said.
Council unanimously approved both the ordinance and the resolution with little discussion.
council approves minor changes to municipal code
Every year, the Snowmass Village Police Department does an annual review of the town’s municipal code chapters related to vehicles and traffic, and general offenses against “public peace, order and safety,” as explained to Town Council on July 20 by Police Chief Brian Olson.
As a result of this year’s review, Olson presented council with a handful of proposed minor changes and code additions, including:
• Adjusting the definition of a vehicle considered “stored” in town parking lots as one that’s been parked and unmoved from a spot for four days (down from one week). This allows Snowmass police to more proactively manage these unmoved vehicles, especially during winter when snow can pile up and impact parking if not removed in a timely fashion. The transportation department also is working on a permit system that allows for some vehicle storage.
• Adjusting the winter “Chain Law” language to target commercial vehicles only. A new town traction law will be put in place for the general public, requiring adequate tires for winter driving in the village, which means people could potentially be cited if they get into an accident because they don’t have the proper tire equipment for winter conditions.
• Adding “harassment” as a general offense, giving police officers a charging option between disorderly conduct and assault.
These changes and additions were presented to council members as one municipal code update ordinance, which includes the adoption of the most current State of Colorado Model Traffic Code.
Town Council unanimously approved the first reading of the ordinance. The second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the Aug. 3 regular council meeting.
PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATE FROM PITKIN COUNTY
Pitkin County public health officials gave Snowmass Town Council a COVID-19 response update July 20.
Officials said they are starting to see some more town of Snowmass Village COVID-19 cases as the county overall is seeing an increase in new daily cases, and noted that only 50% of Snowmass businesses have submitted their required COVID-19 safety plans. To learn more, see the Tuesday edition of The Aspen Times or go online to aspentimes.com.
SELMA SIRKUS TURNS 100
Town Council recognized Selma Sirkus’ 100th birthday July 20 through a Mayoral Proclamation.
Selma, Councilman Bob Sirkus’ mother, was born in Connecticut, lived most of her life in New York City, and currently lives in Florida.
Because of the COVID-19 crisis, Selma’s friends and family couldn’t celebrate her birthday with her in person. Mayor Markey Butler issued the proclamation on behalf of council and the town to be sure to honor Selma and wish her a very happy birthday, Butler said.
“Happy Birthday! I hope you have a big birthday cake with 100 candles on it,” Butler said addressing Selma, who planned to call into the virtual council meeting. “And if you do, get a picture and send it to us.”
Snowmass Village retailers combined to generate $2.2 million in revenue in July, which translated to $247,891 in sales tax collections for the town’s general fund, according to the latest tax report available.
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