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  • Dylan Anderson

Steamboat's STR tax nets $1.8 million in March; totals $4.4 million year-to-date

March sales tax collections rank as the second highest ever for Steamboat at $5.1 million.

Steamboat Springs
March 2023 saw the second highest sales tax collections in Steamboat Springs ever, with only December 2022 being higher. (City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy)

Steamboat Springs’ tax on short-term rentals earned $1.8 million in March, bringing the total it has raised in the first three months of its existence to $4.4 million, according to a preliminary report from the city.

The tax pulled in roughly $1.3 million in each January and February, according to the city. The tax is meant to fund affordable and attainable housing projects including but not limited to the Brown Ranch. March’s STR tax collections are nearly 37% higher than the month before.

City Council did opt to exempt reservations made before Jan. 1 from the STR tax and the increase likely has to do with fewer STR stays being exempt than in months prior. Before that exemption was put in place, the tax was estimated to earn about $14 million in its first year.

Overall, the city’s sales taxes saw an increase of 5.6% this March over the same month last year. Year-to-date sales taxes are up 8.6% over 2022 numbers, with total collections nearing $14 million. March sales tax collections brought in $5.1 million in total. In the city’s history, only December 2022 ($5.3 million) saw more collections than March of this year.

Utilities saw the biggest increase, jumping nearly 21% over March 2022, with tax collected in grocery stores seeing the second highest increase at 12% above a year ago. Taxes collected from retail increased by 8.4%, lodging increased by 5.2% and restaurants increased by 5.1%, compared to March 2022.

Taxes collected for construction and home improvement, and on marijuana each saw about a 10% decline from a year ago.

Collections are broken down into six different areas, with the U.S. Highway 40 Corridor seeing the biggest increase at 8.4%. This area contains the city’s biggest grocery stores. The Mountain area saw a 5.7% increase, which is on par with the overall increase across the city.

The city’s 1% accommodations tax on lodging saw a 4.9% increase in March over the year before and is 5.7% higher so far this year compared to the first three months of 2022. Language that governs how this tax is spent is set to expire and council has said they intend to ask voters to pose voters an updated spending question in November.

Building use tax continues to see significant drop-offs over a year ago, being down 70% in March and 72% through the first three months of the year.

Sales taxes through the first three months of 2023 are about $70,000 shy of what was brought in through all of 2003. So far, collections represent about 40% of what the city budgeted to collect in 2023.


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