Lawmakers postpone hearing on short-term rental tax measure

David Zalubowski/AP Photo
<p>A for rent sign stands outside of a rental on the market in the Country Club area southeast of downtown Denver.</p>

Colorado lawmakers have delayed a hearing on a bill that would tax short-term rentals as commercial properties. 

Property owners from around the state were expected to show up at the Capitol next week to speak out against the legislation, which would lead to significantly higher tax bills for short-term rental owners. The legislation, sponsored by Democrat Sen. Chris Hansen is meant to ease the housing shortage in mountain communities where many homes are rented to tourists instead of residents. But opponents say it will hurt tourism in the state and lead to fewer available rentals.

Hansen said he pushed back the hearing because there was a delay in finalizing amendments he planned to make to the bill.

The first public hearing at the Capitol was originally scheduled for Feb. 20. Hansen said non-partisan legislative staff are looking at other options to present to the chair of the Senate Finance Committee as well as committee members to set a new hearing date.

The bill proposed taxing homes that are rented short-term for more than 90 nights a year as commercial lodging properties. In 2023, commercial properties such as hotels and office buildings were taxed at 27.9 percent, compared to the 6.7 percent for residential properties. 

Gov. Jared Polis said he supports taxing short-term rentals as commercial properties.