Avalara MyLodgeTax > Blog > State and Local News > Summit County, Colorado, approves new STR ordinance

Summit County approves new STR ordinance

  • Mar 30, 2023 | Jennifer Sokolowsky

Commissioners in Summit County, Colorado, have passed new short-term rental (STR) rules, the latest in a series of actions the county has taken to try to find a balance between the needs of residents and those of the tourism industry.

Under the new rules, now in effect, short-term rental licenses outside of town limits will be capped at:

  • 18% of housing stock for Upper Blue Basin
  • 15% for Lower Blue Basin
  • 6% for Ten Mile Basin
  • 5% for Snake River Basin

Currently, the number of licenses (1,659) in those areas exceeds the new limits, but officials expect the numbers to decrease through attrition between 2025 and 2030 to around 1,290. Full-time county residents who work more than 30 hours per week in the county, or retired residents who have a history of working in the county for at least 10 to 15 years, are exempt from the license cap.

According to county officials, short-term rentals have supported more than 8,000 jobs in the county. However, according to a 2019 housing study, more than 14% of respondents said a landlord broke or did not renew their lease in order to convert their property into a short-term rental, demonstrating how short-term rentals can impact long-term residents.

The latest regulations only apply to properties in the Neighborhood Overlay Zone, not the Resort Overlay Zone, where 63% of the short-term rentals in the county are located. Commissioners defined both zones and established STR rules for them last year.

The resort zone includes Keystone, Copper Mountain, Tiger Run Resort, and unincorporated areas at the base of Peak 8 in Breckenridge. Short-term rentals with a resort license have no restrictions on the number of nights per year they can be rented.  

Under the new rules for neighborhood-zoned properties, vacation rental owners are limited to 35 bookings per year, not including nonpaying guests such as friends and family. Hosts must also limit occupancy to two guests per bedroom, plus two guests, per booking party. 

The new ordinance also eliminates the Type III license, which required property owners to get approval for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) from the county planning department. These licenses will be consolidated into Type II licenses. Short-term rental licenses will also now be transferable between family members.

Last May, commissioners passed a moratorium on issuing new short-term rental licenses for the second time within a year. That moratorium ended February 24.

Along with the other rules, Summit County vacation rental owners must also register for a tax license with the state and collect state sales tax from guests. STRs in Summit County are also subject to a new county short-term rental lodging tax that went into effect January 1. The tax was approved by voters in the November election.

Hosts are responsible for collecting all required taxes and submitting them to the proper tax authorities unless their short-term rental marketplace collects taxes for them. In Summit County, Airbnb and Vrbo automatically collect state and county lodging taxes for their hosts. Even if a rental marketplace collects lodging taxes, Colorado hosts are still required to register for a state tax license and file regular lodging tax returns. 

MyLodgeTax can automate and simplify short-term rental tax compliance, including registration and filing with state and local tax authorities. For more on short-term rental taxes in Colorado, see our Colorado vacation rental tax guide. If you have tax questions related to vacation rental properties, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you with answers.

Lodging tax rates, rules, and regulations change frequently. Although we hope you'll find this information helpful, this blog is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal or tax advice.
Avalara Author
Jennifer Sokolowsky
Avalara Author Jennifer Sokolowsky
Jennifer Sokolowsky writes about tax, legal, and tech topics. She has an extensive international background in journalism and marketing, including work with The Seattle Times, The Prague Post, Avvo, and Marriott.
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