Creation of the Town of Vail 1% Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) in 1980 is considered to be among Vail’s greatest treasures. Funds collected are restricted by town ordinance for acquiring, maintaining and improving local property for parks, recreation, open space and for supporting sustainable environmental practices.
Council voted unanimously to place a Real Estate Transfer Tax for the purpose of “real property, open space, recreational parks or employee housing” on the April 1978 Town of Vail ballot.
Vail voters rejected the proposed 1% Real Estate Transfer Tax. The vote was 69 to 101.
Rather than return the issue to a public vote, the Town Council voted 6-1 to establish a 1% Real Estate Transfer Tax with a slight modification in use. Proceeds would go towards the “purchase of real property, open space and recreational or park purposes,” but not employee housing.
Although collections hadn’t yet begun the 1979 RETT ordinance was amended by Council to clarify that each person or persons involved in the transfer are jointly responsible for payment. It also explained the full meaning of transfer, real property, how the public is charged and reemphasized who is exempt and who must pay.
Council amended the RETT ordinance to clarify collection of delinquent accounts.
Council established a cap of 1% on RETT unless voted on by town residents. This ordinance is no longer applicable due to passage of the TABOR Amendment, which does not allow the town to raise the 1% tax under the Colorado Constitution. Additionally, the uses of the transfer tax fee were expanded to include the improvement of land.
Council passed an ordinance that made it possible to use RETT for “acquisition, improvement and maintenance of real property within the limits of the Town or within a mile of the town boundaries.” This allowed the town to proceed with the Dowd Junction recreation path.
Council passed an ordinance that specified delinquent taxes and assessments be turned over to the Eagle County Treasurer after October 1 of each year.
Council considers ordinance to expand the use of RETT to include environmental programs and practices.
Jacque M. Lovato
Sales Tax Manager