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High rents, low wages and no housing is a struggle long term locals are familiar with. History tells us that  more people want to live in Salida than Salida has the inventory for. Please refer to the August 25th Past Tense section of the Mountain Mail.

Sept.1st ,1883: “Rents are enormously high in Salida, and the enterprising property holder who will erect a number of small, neat dwellings will reap a rich reward.” And Aug.21st,1923 “Salida is experiencing a serious shortage of houses. Many families that would be located here are unable to live in Salida because there are no houses. The situation will become more serious when the new shops are completed and more men employed.”

A recent Colorado Sun article discussed Short Term Rental (STR) taxation in various locations across Colorado. I was interviewed in a section discussing STR issues in Salida.

This article discusses the scope of the issue. Local laws dominate how STRs are taxed. No two places are handled the same, so viable solutions may not work even in an adjacent county. There are many players. I sometimes think we all talk past each other because we’re not all working from the same set of facts. I wish there was a better way.

I sympathize with Salida City Council’s position, and I am also baffled by it.

For years STRs proliferated nearly unchecked and made significant revenue for the City. Then it was decided that it was harming the housing market. We were to be taxed to provide housing assistance for others.

But that decision cannot be made in a vacuum. I never conceived that the basic laws under which I was operating could be drastically and instantaneously retooled. Now that I know, it’s unsettling.

Just as we are making headway in Salida, it may all be moot. Next year the Colorado State Legislature will vote to tax property used as an STR, even part-time, as commercial property. This tax increase would be a triple tax to Salidans and would virtually eliminate part-time STRs. Many who use their homes and rent them out to afford the mortgage will be cut down at the knees.

I wish there was a good answer. Right now, I feel like we are scrambling with the City to find the least bad answer.

Kalen Steeves