By Matt Kroschel
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – Steamboat Springs is a resort town through and through, but city officials wants to branch out from the tourism-based economy they rely so heavily upon.
“The community in general is not really happy about an increase in property taxes or sales taxes, however all options are on the table,” Gary Suiter, Steamboat Spring’s city manager, told CBS4 Monday.
Right now, most of the city’s revenue comes from sales tax, which means tourists foot the majority of the bill.
While that formula has worked, some question it’s viability if fewer people visit the area in the future.
“About 75 percent of our general fund is sales tax, so I like to say we are snow farmers. When it snows, we have a good year. Everyone is happy, and when it doesn’t it can be difficult,” Suiter said.
Property taxes are low in Steamboat Springs. There is no city tax, and only some for the school district – by design.
That could change as the city looks for ways to make more money to pay for major infrastructure projects.
“We are looking at multiple sources of revenue to create a more balanced economy,” Suiter added.
Other resort towns in Colorado are also looking for ways to move away from economies tied so closely to ski visitors.
As city leaders work on a plan to bring to residents as early as next year, they say doing nothing probably won’t be sustainable in the years to come.