Room tax opens economic doors in New Castle |

Room tax opens economic doors in New Castle

New Castle, unlike many of its neighboring towns, does not currently have a lodging tax on the books, and for good reason. There is only one motel in the town, so any tax revenues would be minor as far as filling the town’s coffers.

But by putting a proposed lodging tax on the April 6 town election ballot, the Town Council should be lauded for a little proactive and forward thinking.

Town manager Steve Rippy estimates the lodging tax would raise between $18,000 and $20,000 in its first few years.

But by establishing the tax now, New Castle is guaranteed not to miss out as New Castle grows and more hotels are added in the future. It would be a shame to see a hotel or two go up in the area a few years from now and have the town miss out on money because it took another year to put the tax in place.

With new golf courses and other amenities springing up in the New Castle area and across the Western Slope ” not to mention the western migration of workers from the Roaring Fork and Vail valleys ” it’s just a matter of time before the demand is there for more lodging in New Castle.

There is little in the way of a downside to the lodging tax, particularly for the residents of New Castle, who can vote in the tax through the mail-in election.

According to Rippy, the money gained through the tax would be used for the town’s marketing and beautification efforts.

Tourists ” who typically have a more open relationship with their pocketbooks while on vacation, anyway ” essentially pay for upgrades to the town that benefit both visitors and local citizens.

There is an undeniable snowball effect involved when marketing a town. By getting the ball rolling early, the town council is making sure it is prepared for, and can take advantage of, any future flurry of lodge construction.

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