This election, Carbondale residents have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 2A, a new tax on short-term rentals to help fund affordable housing initiatives. The Taxpayer Bill of Rights requires that any proposed tax go to the voters.
In early 2022, the advocacy group Community First Carbondale circulated a petition with the intention of limiting short-term rentals within town limits to improve housing odds for working locals. The initial proposal was countered by Carbondale Forward, a group formed to represent locals that count on income from short-term rentals.
A compromise, crafted by Carbondale’s Board of Town Trustees, involves placing a 6% sales tax on visitors staying at a short-term rental (less than 30 consecutive days). As reported last week by Mayor Ben Bohmfalk, “2A is estimated to generate about $125,000 annually.”
The proposition establishes a dedicated revenue source “to fund the promotion, regulation, procurement, development and protection of local affordable and attainable housing projects and programs…”
It’s notable that both Community First Carbondale and Carbondale Forward have expressed support for this measure as one part of a potential solution.
A previously approved ordinance requiring special permits for short-term rentals yielded 65 within town limits, roughly 2.5% of the town’s housing stock, by late September. Until subsequent regulations are approved, new licenses will only be issued to properties that are the applicant’s primary residence, or on the same property, or located within the Historic Commercial Core zone district. This ordinance will be revisited to incorporate feedback once 2A is voted on.