Aspen Hotel Tax Increase Measure, 2009

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The Aspen Hotel Tax Increase Measure will not be on the November 3, 2009 ballot in Pitkin County for voters in the City of Aspen.

The measure had proposed increasing the city's current 1 percent bed tax to 2 percent; bringing the total hotel tax to 11 percent. According to city officials the tax increase would have generated around $1 million per year. The funds would have been directed towards the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. Currently the chamber received $600,000 per year from about half of the current 1 percent tax. Specifically the funds would have been used for marketing purposes.[1]

But this issue has been removed from the ballot by the city council because it was not properly placed on the ballots in the area where it was to be voted on. City officials said about 110 ballots were affected and that was enough to sway the election so the council decided to take the issue off the ballot. The mayor's explanation for the mistake was that the clerk's office used a map that did not have the specific districts in that area up to date with current resident's voting status. The mayor offered that the measure could have the same number next election so signs and posters would not be wasted but the members of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association are worried now because they do not see a way to get the money they will need for the next year. The Mayor offered them the option to borrow money, but the issue would not solve all their issues.[2]