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Comment Archives: stories: News: Local News

Re: “Short-term rental owners in El Paso County may face huge (and expensive) changes

STR's, aka Airbnbs, are not long term rental stays. They are exactly like a B&B or vacation home and should be taxed accordingly. If hotels, b&bs, cabins, cottages, campgrounds have to pay taxes than STR's should as well. If you are planning on going into business for yourself, which is what these property owners are doing, then you need to pay taxes.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jackie Reynolds on 07/17/2019 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Short-term rental owners in El Paso County may face huge (and expensive) changes

Please check out www.npaofcos.org if any of the following three points concern you. It's a group of concerned residents called the Neighborhood Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs.

This idea of taxing STRs (Short Term Rentals) at the commercial rate is, frankly, not crazy government over-reach. The reality is that government has a constitutional right to tax (like it or not). Mr. Schleiker understands that Colorado State tax laws define lodging as "stays of less than 30 days". Lodging activity is defined the same way in Colorado Springs City Code and the IRS sees it that way too. It's not surprising that El Paso County wants it's share of tax as well. For more info, check out the State's FYI document regarding lodging taxes here:

https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/Sales11.pdf.

It's not a new tax. It's been on the books in Colorado State law for many years.

That's point one. Point two is that commercial lodging activity has no business in residential areas. The idea that providing housing to local residents (long term rentals) is exactly the same activity as providing short-term lodging to guests just doesn't hold water: lodging does not equal residing. Limited, owner-occupied home occupations certainly do belong in residential areas (like an accountant or hair stylist), but full-time STR lodging activity in otherwise unoccupied homes doesn't. The City's current STR laws allow a nearly unlimited amount of our homes and apartments to be converted to full-time STR use (yes, there are still some folks that actually live in the properties that they're offering as STRs and we support that), which leads to point three.

Point three is that most listings (over 75%) in Colorado Springs are whole-home listings, and just under half (at last check in February) were offered by multi-listing "hosts" who do not reside in the residences that they are offering. This practice is taking desperately-needed housing options away from the full-time rental and owner market. Study after study proves that non-owner-occupied STRs are NOT the cause of our housing availability crisis, but they are absolutely exacerbating it.

In 2013, there were 69 TOTAL Airbnb listings in Colorado Springs. In Q2 of 2019, there were 2,605 ACTIVE listings. That's a growth rate of 3,775%. If you don't have a hotel next door to you now, just wait. Actually, don't wait. Contact Council and ask them to add a primary residency requirement to STRs and encourage them to follow through with the density caps on STR permits that are being discussed.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Neighborhood Preservation Alliance of Colorado Springs on 07/17/2019 at 12:40 PM

Re: “Short-term rental owners in El Paso County may face huge (and expensive) changes

And as a starter - place this new AirB&B over in the Patty Jewett neighborhood for a week. That area is not zoned for this type use (sleeping in weenies) but zoning has little meaning for the current council. And, the need for us all to get used to the changes being brought to us by council needs to start someplace - - - like:

"We will place low income housing in all neighborhoods, I promise." Councilperson Gaebler.

Putting these changes in zoning and allowed usage - - and "placing low income housing in all areas" should be started in the Patty Jewett area first on a trial basis and see how it works out - - perhaps even a 'shelter annex' could be developed in that neighborhood to help the northend homeless.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by R Wehner on 07/17/2019 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Short-term rental owners in El Paso County may face huge (and expensive) changes

Perhaps the latest entry into the AirB&B market could be brought to town during the discussions on these issues.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/rent-oscar…

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by R Wehner on 07/17/2019 at 10:46 AM

Re: “Why other cities offer much lower prices for pools and rec

I really like how people like to insult our intelligence! As if your organization's annual report isn't available online. Theresa McDonough horribly tries to make the connection of higher price to access the PUBLIC POOLS are due to continued "training for the lifeguards". But what she failed to mentioned was that the YMCA of the pikes peak region total revenue for 2017 was $28,064,000, with total expenses coming in at $26,432,000. I'm not a mathematician but that's a net profit of $1,632,000... not bad for a "nonprofit organization". Also they paid more in national dues at $369,000 then they did "staff development" $315,000.

Please let's just call it what it is! These people at the Y are catering to a certain demographic while benefiting from subsidies that are provide by the taxpayers of Colorado Spring!

$450 for a summer pool pass? Freaking ridiculous! It's cheaper getting a season pass to elitches ($69.99), and with that pass, you get access to both the waterpark and amusement park. We gotta demand better people, and hold these people's feet to the fire and call them what they are "blood suckers of the community"

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ryan brown on 07/16/2019 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Why other cities offer much lower prices for pools and rec

Can we please call it exactly what it is... Discrimination! Not discrimination based on race (they'd be setting themselves up for a lawsuit), but discrimination based on social economic class! $35 to for a family to use a public pool is ridiculous to say the less. How it is in a place that calls itself "THE NUMBER ONE PLACE IN AMERICA TO LIVE" allow for their tax payers money go towards something the general citizen can't afford to use?

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ryan brown on 07/15/2019 at 11:54 PM

Re: “Why other cities offer much lower prices for pools and rec

progressive mentality vs. teabagger mentality...

welcome to teabagger town

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by happyfew on 07/10/2019 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Why other cities offer much lower prices for pools and rec

So, basically COS has privatized our municipal pool system, and we are all paying for it.

14 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ryan Hannigan on 07/10/2019 at 7:39 AM

Re: “Why other cities offer much lower prices for pools and rec

All the new growth; such as Scheels; gets these multi-million dollar tax breaks. As in a 16 Million dollar tax break. Sixteen Million Dollars.

Meanwhile; Joe and Joe Ann Average have to pay $36 to take their two kids to the pool?

This is some more head shaking sadness to even read about.

Hardly a "City of Champions" ticket price indeed. Thirty six dollars; for a couple and their two kids; to go to a city pool? WTF COS, WTF.

16 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dwight Fairbaks on 07/10/2019 at 6:14 AM

Re: “Emma Tang, 17, is already changing the cyber world; the young feminist says she has further to go

another manifesto of garbage...

get a life, we don't care for your right wing whack job long winded self aggrandizing spewings!!!

1 like, 4 dislikes
Posted by happyfew on 07/09/2019 at 12:46 PM

Re: “Hot (and steamy) issue

Like it

Posted by John Smith1 on 07/09/2019 at 12:13 AM

Re: “Emma Tang, 17, is already changing the cyber world; the young feminist says she has further to go

This rude awakening guy should run for office!

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Ryan jackson on 07/08/2019 at 6:48 PM

Re: “Women make less and pay more

Women should make less! Generally speaking, they're not as capable as their male counterparts!

Posted by Holmes on 07/07/2019 at 10:51 PM

Re: “Jail vendors make millions from inmates’ families on snacks and phone calls

Super easy to combat that! Don't go to jail dirtbags!!!

5 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Holmes on 07/07/2019 at 10:50 PM

Re: “Jail vendors make millions from inmates’ families on snacks and phone calls

The food is cheap hydrogenated junk and costs 3 times the price in stores.
The inmate needs decent communication so when he gets out he will stay considerate

6 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Suzy Cyr on 07/06/2019 at 4:36 PM

Re: “Jail vendors make millions from inmates’ families on snacks and phone calls

@silky Johnson so you're perfect and you have never done anything ever in your life that could have landed you a short stay? I'm not even worried about the commissary, it's the phone. You're saying just because someone's child/spouse/parent whatever made a mistake the family isn't suffering enough by having them taken from us (and I get they screwed up, there need to be consequences) but we need to also shell out well over $200/mo in some cases just to talk to them? I didn't do anything wrong, I'm not the one in prison, but I also need to talk to my loved one as much as they need to talk to me. I suggest thinking before you speak

21 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Liz Prell on 07/04/2019 at 1:01 AM

Re: “Jail vendors make millions from inmates’ families on snacks and phone calls

CommonSense, What's missing is a fund balance as of May or June for how much the county has on hand from the commissary and phone calls. The figure we used, $1.4 million, is as of Dec. 31, 2018. The county's take was $2.1 million from the vendors over nearly 34 months from August 2016 to early June 2019. Not having a current fund balance is the problem. That was something we weren't able to get in time. Make sense?

10 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Pam Zubeck on 07/03/2019 at 4:57 PM

Re: “Jail vendors make millions from inmates’ families on snacks and phone calls

The math is NOT adding up. If El Paso county takes in $2,171,545 and spends $475,858 on programs the remaining balance in the fund should be $1,695,687. According to this article the fund balance is $1.4M... where did the other $295,687 go if this fund is restricted and cannot be used for anything other than for the benefit of the inmate? A third of a million dollars aka almost 14% of El Paso County's share is unaccounted for in this article.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by common_sense911 on 07/03/2019 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Jail vendors make millions from inmates’ families on snacks and phone calls

@Ibandribew: "That's a combination of racist laws and a legal system that favors anyone who can afford a good lawyer."

What laws are racist?

And if there really were racist laws, why do minorities chose to continually violate them and get in trouble?

12 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Katy Lynn Davis on 07/03/2019 at 10:12 AM

Re: “Jail vendors make millions from inmates’ families on snacks and phone calls

Silky, you may be surprised to hear this, but the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and it's wildly disproportionate in favor of jailing the poor and minorities. That's a combination of racist laws and a legal system that favors anyone who can afford a good lawyer.

The jail system is broken, and outrageous fees for making phone calls or providing a monopolized commissary service are immoral.

To top that off, anyone who thinks like, "if you don't like it, don't go to jail" is evidently stupid or vile.

35 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Ibandribew on 07/03/2019 at 9:57 AM

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