Property & Lodging Tax Increases Approved for November 2 Ballot



Voters will also decide a Short Term Rental ban proposal


broken image

New video display with webcam at Rico Town Hall

Ore Cart photo - August 23, 2021


  • VCUP proposed agreement with Atlantic Richfield correspondence approved.
  • Town Manager candidates interviews begin.

  • Draft Annual Audit presented.
  • Recycling status updated.

Rico Board of Trustees

Regular Monthly Meeting

August 18, 2021 6:30 PM

Town Hall

The November 2, 2021 election ballot will include three questions for Rico voters to consider. The Rico Board of Trustees approved a Resolution authorizing these ballot items at its August 18, 2021 regular monthly meeting.



Increase property tax 12.8 mills

The draft of August 18, 2021 Rico Board of Trustees meeting Resolution in the meeting Trustees Packet describes Town’s expenses for which the proposed additional property tax revenues may be spent - (excerpt):


WHEREAS the Town finds it necessary to increase the mill levy on real and personal property taxes by 12.8 mills to continue to provide the current level of snow removal, plus grading and drainage upgrades, repairs of ditches and culverts, road surface improvements including dust control and equipment replacement and repairs to support the work (the “Project”);

and WHEREAS if approved, the 12.8 mill levy increase means a residential valuation of $400,000.00 today would pay an additional $366.08 annually.


Trustees approved this proposed ballot question with addition of a future Town Shop to the list of qualifying expenses.

Town of Rico's present property tax mill levy is 18.744.



Increase lodging tax from 1% to 7%

Draft Resolution in August 18 Trustees Packet proposed an increase from 1% to 3%. Trustees voted to raise the proposed increase to 7%.

The draft Resolution describes Rico voters' approval of a lodging tax 20 years ago, and the present state of Rico vacation lodging - (excerpt):


WHEREAS, on November 6, 2001, the voters approved a 1% lodging tax on all lodging for a period of 30 days or less, for any hotel and motel rentals, rentals of cabins or residential properties, rentals of recreational vehicle sites and rental of camping sites.

WHEREAS the travel industry has changed since the lodging tax was implemented in

2001 and short-term rental of homes have become popular creating an increase in vacation options within the Town and more use of Town parks, open space, trails, and streets as well as administrative costs to administer and enforce short-term rentals within the Town.



Ban Short Term Rentals in residential zones

Draft Resolution lists short term rental (STR) impact on long-term housing, and community concern, as reasons for placing an STR restriction question on the November ballot - (excerpt):



WHEREAS, as with many other tourist destinations around the State of Colorado, the short-term rental (STR) market where homes or a portion of them rented out by the homeowner for a short-term stay, have increased in the Town which contributes to the lack of long-term housing options and increases the number of tourists visiting Rico.

WHEREAS there has been much discussion as to whether STRs should be allowed only in certain zone districts by the Trustees and the public.

WHEREAS in 2011 short-term rentals were added as a use allowed in the Residential Zone by a special use permit.

WHEREAS the Trustees want to ask the Town electors whether STRs should continue as a use under a special use permit in the Residential (R) Zone District.


The August 18 Trustees Packet included an example provided to Town by a Rico resident of a Telluride STR service provider and provider's client who oppose a potential Telluride STR ban:


Hello. Please share with trustees for upcoming STR discussion. The following post appeared on Telluride social media August 3 2021 (the post was made by Erica Gioga). While Rico is not Telluride, the post still shares a relevant perspective on STRs:

My job is representing owners who short term rent their homes. . . . I am not worried about myself or my job, I am worried about the town as a whole with the proposal to reduce STR licenses in town. Keep in mind, these folks USE their homes and will let them sit dark if not able to rent short term. Some stay 2 weeks, some stay 6 months. Only allowing 400 STR's would severely restrict income for the town and everyone's business. I am sharing a note one of my owners emailed to me and the town but it is up to the Voters. . . .

We have owned (omitting address) since 1998. I remember being encouraged to put my unit into the short term rental pool by the powers that be at the time in order to free up bed space for visitors. Now I’m hearing that we may loose our license to rent short term. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that we don’t need bed space for visitors but rather long term rental space for residents. The only reason that we ever put our condo into short term rentals was to have the convenience of having our unit maintained so we could come and go several times a year. Between our visits, we were happy to allow other guests to use our unit and provide space and jobs to the local economy. We also benefited from some rental income. The bottom line is that we’ve used our unit at some point every year since we’ve owned it.

Please understand something. Taking away our STR license will NOT make our unit available to a long term renter. We have never allowed long term renters and never will. The very idea that restricting STR licenses to create long term rental opportunities for residents is simply absurd. If your goal is to reduce the visitors, local jobs, and local businesses, you are on the right track!



Atlantic Richfield Voluntary Cleanup (VCUP)

Trustees reviewed a draft proposed letter to Atlantic Richfield. The letter states Town of Rico’s desires for implementing the Voluntary Cleanup Agreement and resulting Soils Management Plan:


The Trustees support the goal of having the VCUP in place by the 2022 building season, but that will require, among other things, reaching terms acceptable to the parties on the full suite of documents and providing adequate opportunities to engage the residents of Rico on these issues.


Trustees discussed a need for Town to be represented by someone capable of monitoring the VCUP project, but geologist expertise is not needed. This position could be a “Rico Soils Officer,” or a company. The proposed 19-page VCUP agreement reviewed by Trustees at a special meeting August 4, 2021 includes a provision for Atlantic Richfield to reimburse Town of Rico for 25% of town manager’s salary related to Soils Management Plan (SMP) administration expenses and community outreach.



Other agenda items

Town Manager interviews

Fourteen applications received, mostly locals. Interviews will begin immediately. The Town manager hiring committee planned to have a list of five candidates to recommend to full Town Board of Trustees by Monday, August 23. A special executive session Trustees meeting to consider hiring committee recommendations, as well as a general discussion of staffing, is scheduled for 6:00 PM tonight at Town Hall.

Recycling update

Town of Rico purchased a used truck and a trailer for the recycling program. Containers purchase and organizing volunteers that will oversee the program will proceed.

Draft Annual Audit

Included in Trustees Packet. 45 pages.

Temporary liquor license for Rico Trails Alliance fundraiser

Trustees voted to approve.