SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – State lawmakers will decide if short term rentals across Colorado are taxed as commercial property rather than residential. Resort communities in Summit County say bumping the tax rate up to 29% from 7.96% will devastate local real estate markets.

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The thought behind this major change to short term rentals is to help with the housing crisis. Many believe rental companies like AirBnB have only made it worse.

The effects could leave places like Summit County in real estate ruin according to local real estate experts.

“It is unbelievably dramatic and terrible,” Dana Cottrell, President of Summit Association of Realtors, told CBS4 Monday.

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Inside the Summit Association of Realtors, the threat of this change to short term rentals is sending shock waves through the industry.

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“It’s not good. We have more residential rentals than any other county in the state. There are some thoughts that up to 40% of people will put their homes on the market if this goes into effect which would crash our economy. It would be terrible,” Cottrell added.

They believe the statewide change to how short term rentals are taxed will have unintended consciences.

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“I can tell you right now the emails I’m getting are emails of hurt. They’re like ‘you don’t want me? Well, if you don’t want me, maybe I’ll just leave,’” said Mark Waldman.

He owns the largest property management company in Breckenridge. Waldman says if passed the change will destroy his business and force him to lay off staff.

“We have not seen a statewide effort that is so devastating and so dramatic from anywhere else in the country,” he said.

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It’s not clear what chance this has to pass out of committee, but there’s a hearing scheduled early next month.