Voters sink lodging tax measure in Centennial

City proposed a 3.5% lodging tax

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The majority of Centennial voters were against the proposed 3.5% lodging tax placed on the 2022 ballot by the Centennial council.  

According to the unofficial results, 55.3% of votes turned out against the proposed tax, with 44.7% of votes in favor.

Currently, the city does not have a lodging tax, but it does have a 2.5% sales tax rate on lodging services. If voters had approved the ballot measure, the combined total would have been 6%.

The lodging tax would have been imposed on the price of a short-term rental, meaning less than 30 consecutive days, in any hotel, inn, bed and breakfast or Airbnb located in the city. 

If approved, the anticipated annual revenue was $1.05 million. The ballot question stated the tax revenue would be “spent on projects and services addressing visitor impacts in the areas of public safety and any other lawful municipal purpose.”

When Centennial City Council approved the ballot question in a 6-3 vote on Sept. 6, city staff explained “public safety” is a broad definition that can apply to a variety of services and projects.

The tax revenue did not necessarily have to be used for public safety, as the ballot language stated funds could have been used for “any other lawful municipal purpose.” 

Peyton Sargent, a 22-year-old Centennial resident, said one of the ballot questions she was on the fence about was the lodging tax. She was among a long line of people waiting to vote in person at Southglenn Library in Centennial on election night. 

“I had to do, kind of, a lot of digging to try and get any information on it, really,” she said.  

Sargent said she planned to vote against the proposed lodging tax.  

“It kind of seemed like there wasn’t really a reason for it,” she said. 

Littleton City Council also asked its voters a lodging tax question on the November ballot, and unofficial election results show a majority of Littleton voters approved a 5% lodging tax. The anticipated annual revenue is $975,000 and will be spent on the city’s arts, culture and tourism programs.

Centennial lodging tax, Centennial, Lodging tax, Election 2022, Centennial election results

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