Breckenridge leaders and Vail Resorts have reached a compromise on how to raise money for parking and transportation upgrades the town says are needed. Instead of asking the voters to approve a tax on all ticket sales at Breckenridge Ski Resort, the November ballot item will only apply to sales of winter lift tickets, excluding season pass products like the Epic Pass. In return for excluding the Epic Pass from the tax question, Vail Resorts will drop its objection to the tax. While the town would capture less revenue with the change, it won't be squaring off against the mega-resort operator. The compromise tax plan still isn't a done deal, though, as voters get the final say. It remains to be seen if residents are swayed by the changes. We put the tax question to Curbed Ski readers earlier and didn't find great support.
Out of the 502 Curbed Ski readers who voted in the poll, about 63 percent did not favor taxing lift ticket sales at Breckenridge. This question was asked before the new compromise, and there's the chance some Curbed Ski readers who purchase season passes from Vail Resorts would be more keen on the tax now.
Breckenridge residents are probably even more likely than Curbed Ski readers to own season passes, possibly turning the compromise into a savvy move on the town's part to sure up support among those who can vote on the item.
Vail Resorts promises that new proposal of a 4.5 percent tax on just winter lift tickets will still net at least $3.5 million per year for Breckenridge, which is less than the $4 million to $6 million to town was initially seeking, but will still go a long way toward building parking structures, lots, and road and pedestrian improvements.
The standoff between the town and the resort operator started when Breckenridge wanted Vail Resorts to cough up the cash for much of the improvements. Vail came back with a much less generous offer, the town came up with the tax plan, and here we are.
Catch up on the tax plan:
Vail Resorts, Breckenridge Reach Agreement on Lift Ticket Tax Scrap [Denver Post]
Vail Resorts rejects Breckenridge's lift-ticket tax proposal [Summit Daily]
Breckenridge, Vail battling over proposed lift ticket tax plan [Denver Post]
Longtime Breckenridge local pushes ski area tax for 20 years [Summit Daily]
So what do you think Curbed Ski readers? Will it put your mind at ease if the only people being taxed are the ones with their lift tickets flapping in the wind?
· Poll: Do You Think Breckenridge Should Tax the Ski Area? [Curbed Ski]
· Vail Resorts and Breckenridge at Odds Over Tax Proposal [Curbed Ski]