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La Plata County staff are studying the extent of short-term rental owners’ noncompliance with the tax code, The Durango Herald reports.

Deputy county manager Mike Segrest told The Herald that the county does not know how many short-term rentals exist in the county and how much tax revenue La Plata is forgoing.

“We have a significant problem of properties not being in compliance in terms of not remitting sales and lodgers tax,” he said.

There are approximately 1,220 short-term rental listings in the county, and Durango, the county seat, has the authority to issue fines to unregistered properties.

The county’s inquiry into tax compliance will also examine whether properties are safe. The presence of detectors for smoke and carbon monoxide, and issues of access and egress are potential hazards going unaddressed.

Segrest said that those using the rentals do not know “whether it’s been inspected, the safety aspects and whether the building is appropriate for the level of use.”

Denver is also exercising enforcement over its short-term rental rules. In April, two Realtors will go on trial for allegedly making false statements when obtaining their rental license.

While many jurisdictions across the state require permits, business licenses, lodging taxes, safety inspections and public notice, localities do not necessarily employ all of those regulations simultaneously.

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