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Breckenridge Approves Controversial Lift Ticket Tax

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After months of debate, Breckenridge voters have approved a 4.5 percent lift ticket tax aimed at funding parking and transit solutions in the busy ski town. The preliminary tally shows 917 votes in favor of the ballot measure, with only 185 no votes.

The lift ticket tax debate turned heated over the summer after the town of Breckenridge and Vail Resorts couldn't come to an agreement on how to split the costs of transportation upgrades. Vail Resorts vowed to fight a proposed tax, preferring a lump sum contribution to the upgrades rather than what CEO Rob Katz called an "everlasting revenue stream coming from our skiers and riders."

In August, however, town leaders and Vail Resorts reached a compromise. Instead of asking the voters to approve a tax on all ticket sales at Breckenridge Ski Resort, the November ballot item only applied to sales of winter lift tickets, excluding season pass products like the Epic Pass.

Yesterday's vote means that there will now be a 4.5 percent lift ticket tax, with a Vail Resorts' guarantee that the tax will raise at least $3.5 million per year for the town. The town of Breckenridge will now turn to traffic flow studies to determine the size of the parking structure. The approved tax will take effect July 1, 2016.

· Breckenridge voters approve new lift ticket tax [Summit County Citizens Voice]