Industry Rallies to Oppose Colorado Tax

Colorado is considering legislation that would add an extra $6-a-day fee to car rental or hotel room bills and increase car registration fees an average of $100, to help raise $500 million for road and bridge repairs, according to the Denver Post.

The American Car Rental Association’s (ACRA) Executive Director Sean Busking and Treasurer Rick Stevens, along with Bill Connors of the National Business Travel Association and representatives from Alamo/National Car Rental and Hertz Rent A Car, recently sat down with Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter to discuss the impact of the impending tax from the auto rental industry standpoint.

“There’s no specific correlation between this tax and our industry,” Busking told Auto Rental News. “They may think they are exclusively taxing out-of-towners, but research indicates that roughly half of all rentals are used by local companies for bringing folks into their corporate offices.” “Under this proposal the car rental customer is being taxed after the car rental company has already paid a tax on the license plate,” incoming ACRA President Bob Barton told ARN. “Is it equitable for not only taxation without representation to occur, but to also levy double taxation?”

The Denver Post. reports the additional $500 million a year is the minimum needed to maintain the state's deteriorating road system and that $1.5 billion per year in new money would be required to fix roads and bridges.

According to Busking, Gov. Ritter was receptive, and at this point, there is no clear determination of whether the tax will go into effect. Insiders say the fee may be implemented in a way that does not require voter approval, though this has not been determined either.

“We’re all remaining very diligent and active on pursuing the interests on behalf of the auto rental industry to come up with a solution that’s more palatable for everyone involved,” Busking says.

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