Local elections impact short-term rental taxes
- Nov 21, 2023 | Jennifer Sokolowsky
Voters in Colorado and California passed ballot measures in local elections November 7 that will increase lodging taxes for short-term rentals (STRs).
Ballot measure raising lodging tax passes in Winter Park, Colorado
Voters approved Winter Park Ballot Issue 2A, which raises the town lodging tax from 1% to 3%. The increased revenue will be used to fund programs such as community housing and childcare. The tax is expected to generate $1.2 million per year to pay for affordable housing projects. The town has approximately 1,200 registered short-term rentals.
Short-term rentals in Winter Park are subject to the town’s lodging and sales taxes. Operators are required to collect the taxes from guests and remit them to the town. Winter Park hosts must also register for a tax license with the state, charge guests state and Grand County sales taxes, and file state sales tax returns.
STR 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. Airbnb and Vrbo automatically collect state- and city-administered lodging taxes for their hosts. But, even if a marketplace collects lodging taxes, Colorado hosts are still required to register for a state tax license and file regular lodging tax returns. For more on short-term rental taxes in Colorado, see our Colorado vacation rental tax guide.
Winter Park also requires short-term rental owners to register their units with the town and pay a $150 registration fee. The registration number must be included in any listing or advertising for the short-term rental property. Operators must also designate a responsible agent who can be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to issues. Rules on parking, garbage, noise, and safety also apply to STRs.
Mount Shasta, California, voters approve lodging tax hike
Mount Shasta voters passed Measure S, which raises the city’s transient occupancy tax (TOT) from 10% to 12%. Currently, the TOT provides about one-sixth of Mount Shasta’s general funds budget. The increase is expected to generate $245,000 for public safety services and infrastructure.
Mount Shasta STRs are also subject to a Siskiyou County Tourism Improvement District (SCTID) assessment. Short-term rental operators are required to collect both city and county taxes from guests and remit them to tax authorities. While Airbnb and Vrbo collect the Siskiyou County tax automatically from guests when they book their stay, they don’t collect Mount Shasta’s TOT. STR operators are solely responsible for compliance with Mount Shasta’s lodging tax requirements.
The city also requires STR owners and property managers to apply for a short-term rental and business license. For more on short-term rental taxes in California, see our California vacation rental tax guide.