Lodger's Tax FAQs
Littleton is one of a handful of Denver metro area cities that has several hotels but doesn’t charge a lodger’s tax. A few cities and towns don’t assess a lodger’s tax because they don’t have hotels, such as Cherry Hills Village and Castle Pines.
The circumstances are much different today than they were nine years ago – Littleton has five newer hotels and millions of dollars more in hotel revenue than in 2013. Only the Hampton Inn was open at the time of the last vote on a lodger’s tax. This year the tax revenue is proposed for a specific purpose (supporting arts and culture amenities and tourism promotion similar to how other cities across the country dedicate the revenue), rather than for an unspecified purpose which was the case in 2013.
The lodger’s tax will only be charged to visitors staying at Littleton hotels and short-term rental homes for 28 days or fewer.
Littleton has four hotels – with a fifth (Woodbridge Suites) expected to open late summer – that would be subject to a lodger’s tax if the voters approve it this fall.
Discussions are ongoing on how the funds might be distributed among arts and culture organizations and activities. The model proposed by Littleton’s Arts and Culture Commission recommends sharing the revenue among the Town Hall Arts Center, Bemis Public Library, the Littleton Museum, and Hudson Gardens as well as Littleton’s smaller independent arts organizations. Funds would also be directed for tourism and visitor marketing to help support Littleton businesses and attractions. Littleton is also one of several metro area municipalities that doesn’t have a budget for tourism promotion. If voters approve the lodger’s tax this November, city council – with the input of citizens and arts and culture stakeholders – will decide a more specific revenue sharing formula.
Charter Procurement Policy Update FAQs
A review of procurement policies of 17 home rule cities in Colorado revealed that Littleton’s outdated purchasing regulations do not ensure that supplies, equipment, and capital assets the city buys provide the best value to taxpayers. A capital asset is defined as any item that’s expected to last more than one year and cost more than $5,000.
Most notably, Littleton’s procurement regulations, which date back to 1959, require that any capital asset over $5,000 must be competitively bid. Further, Littleton is the only city that limits the length of a contract and is one of four cities that must accept the lowest price, without regard for product quality, vendor expertise, or timeliness of delivery. Each of the 17 cities mentioned above updated their procurement rules within the past 20 years.
No other city in the Denver metro area has a capital asset bidding threshold as low as Littleton’s. In 1959, $5,000 went a lot farther than it does today. Creating and publishing the bid documents, along with responding to bids takes anywhere from 60 to 120 days and delays several important purchasing decisions each year.
Moving the procurement policy from the Charter to the City Code will not reduce taxpayer protections. In fact, doing so will allow Littleton to maximize taxpayer dollars by selecting the vendors that provide the best overall value. If approved by Littleton voters, this solution will create efficiencies in the city’s procurement process, avoiding time currently spent preparing bids and waiting months for potential vendors to respond. Vendors often don't respond due to the complexity of the bid process. By requiring the city to accept the lowest bid, the charter doesn’t permit the city from taking product quality, vendor reputation, or timeliness of delivery into consideration. Taxpayers deserve an updated procurement process that takes more than just the lowest price into consideration.
DDA (Downtown Development Authority) FAQs
Proposed boundary of the Littleton DDA
DDAs are formed by city council adopting an ordinance seeking the organization of the DDA via an election of the qualified electors within the boundaries of the proposed DDA.
As part of the decision to seek organization of the Littleton DDA, the City, along with the steering committee, have developed a plan to provide a road map for potential future improvements and investment in Downtown Littleton. The plan sets goals and strategies in five main areas:
- Improved Parking Experience;
- Well-connected Amenities;
- Beautiful and Welcoming Environment;
- Clean and Safe Spaces; and
- Business-friendly and Vibrant Experiences.
The plan will be further refined and adopted if of the DDA is approved. The TIF funds would be collected for the DDA for up to 30 years, and no more than 50 years. Click here to see a draft of priority projects for downtown [PDF].
Forms to request a ballot will be available here soon.