Aspen homeowners may be taxed on vacation rentals

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The Aspen City Council is taking up a proposal that would force homeowners who offer their properties as vacation rentals to pay sales and lodging taxes.

The homeowners may also be forced to get an annual business license and a related permit under a plan coming up at Monday’s meeting.

Aspen officials are trying to track down hundreds of vacation rentals that are off the government’s tax rolls and making them comply with the rules.

According to the Aspen Times (http://bit.ly/GROP4e), city staffers have proposed continuing to allow unlimited vacation rentals in areas zoned as lodging and commercial districts.

The city finance department estimates that the government is losing out on nearly $100,000 in sales and lodging taxes because property owners fail to pay them.