In response to “Short Term Rental Regulations Hashed Out” of May 19-25, I wish to commend our neighbors for their efforts to promote our area through the use of their homes and Bed and Breakfasts (B&B’s). They have attracted the attention of the traveling public by their personal hospitality, choices of accommodations and décor. Through their hard work these entrepreneurs have become ambassadors for Ouray County. They are inviting these special guests to visit the sights of interest, restaurants, entertainment, and markets. These visitors undoubtedly spend many dollars, and perhaps extra days, in our area. This of course generates much additional revenue to businesses and tax revenue for the county.
The success of the B&B’s is directly related to meeting, or exceeding, the expectations of the discerning traveler. Through the use of a review/rating system, not only are the B&B’s given a rating by their patrons, the patrons receive a rating by the B&B’s. This is a self-policing system which works just fine, promotes our area, and pulls in revenue. This is the ingenuity of free-enterprise and entrepreneurship. Well done and thank you!
Now, we have to watch as our local officials prepare to slaughter the goose that lays the golden egg. Unable to solve the “problem” of promoting B&B’s themselves without a lodge tax, they are methodically sharpening their 2-edge sword of regulation and taxes.
Here is the short list of the system/regulations they are working on: 1. Require a license and fees (Silverton’s proposal $1500 initial $750 annually) When have fees ever gone down or expired? 2. Display license on all advertising. 3. Require a sales tax license number. 4. Data-mining or surveillance (Federal law prohibits). 5. Parking issues. 6. Noise ordinances. 7. Display of emergency numbers and contact information. 8. Regulating owner’s presence or representatives to “respond” to patrons. 9. Long-term rental shortage education.
In other words, a bigger bureaucracy requiring more taxes to administer the layers of additional new taxes and regulations. This will burden current B&B owners and disenfranchises others who would try. This in turn takes away what would have been additional spending and tax revenue for our county.
My advice to our tax spending officials is to sit back, relax, and leave these self-regulating B&B’s alone. Allow the free-enterprise system to work and watch the revenues flow into our county coffers.