Breckenridge voters approve new lift ticket tax

Morning alpenglow paints the summit of Breckenridge Ski Area.
Starting next season, some skiers and snowboarders will be paying an extra 4.5 percent on their lift tickets (season passes excluded) to help pay for needed transportation and parking infrastructure. @bberwyn photo.

New revenue to fund transportation improvements

Staff Report

The turnout wasn’t exactly overwhelming, but those Breckenridge voters who did bother to cast a ballot Tuesday overwhelmingly voted in favor of a ballot measure  authorizing a 4.5 percent lift ticket tax.

The preliminary tally shows 917 votes in favor of ballot measure 2A, with just 185 no votes. The new tax is aimed at funding long-term funding for parking and transit solutions in the jam-packed tourist town.The tax issue grew heated a few months ago when discussions between the town and Vail Resorts fell apart. But ultimately, the town council and Vail Resorts agreed on verbiage for the ballot question that excludes all season passes and summer lift tickets from the tax. Vail Resorts will guarantee that the tax, if passed, will raise at least $3.5 million per year for the Town, to be increased to adjust for inflation.

The Breckenridge Town Council has been engaged in finding a long-term solution to parking, traffic and transit problems for years, with talk of a huge parking structure dating back 20 years at least.

In July, a poll of Breckenridge voters conducted confirmed that parking and traffic congestion is a serious problem, and should be a top priority for town leaders.

The approved tax will take effect July 1, 2016. The Town will begin the next step in the public process beginning this winter season with studies on traffic flow and size of parking structure. With these results, the public outreach will begin Spring 2016.

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