Construction Use Tax

Use tax Collection Method

For projects permitted on January 10, 2008 or later, Pitkin County Construction Use Tax is collected using the "deposit method" whereby the general contractor pays an estimate of the use tax liability at the beginning of each project. The deposit will be collected by the Pitkin County Building Department at the time the "main" permit is issued.

Deposit Calculation

Deposit amount = total permit valuation x 10% (0.1) x 0.5% (0.005)

The deposit calculation changed in June 2019 due to changes in Colorado sales tax collection laws. The percentage of the permit valuation to which use tax is applied was reduced from 50% to 10%. If you had an open permit at June 1, 2019 you have the option to file an interim reconciliation return and potentially receive a partial refund on your use tax deposit. Please see the forms section to the left.

Final Return Required

The general contractor is required to file a final return upon completion of the project. Additional amounts due should be remitted or refunds requested at that time. The final return should be filed with the Pitkin County Finance Department.

File the Return

The general contractor is responsible for all taxes due under their scope of work, including all activities of subcontractors as well as any materials purchased by the owner and installed under the contractor's scope of work. The term general contractor used here is applied to whichever entity performs as the lead or sole contractor within their scope of work as contracted with the property owner.

For projects located in the City of Aspen, there are 2 use taxes collected separately; 1 for the city and 1 for Pitkin County. The City of Aspen Building Department will collect the Pitkin County use tax deposit along with the city use tax deposit on jobs within the city limits, as a convenience for contractors. The final return for the Pitkin County use tax portion of City of Aspen projects should be filed with the Pitkin County Finance Department. (Contractors will fill out 2 final tax returns; 1 for the city and 1 for the county.)

General contractors on projects permitted by the Town of Snowmass Village or the Town of Basalt will pay their deposit at the time of permit issuance also. The final return must be submitted to Pitkin County Finance Department.

Non-permitted projects (such as landscaping and small projects) must contact the Pitkin County Finance Department to pay their deposit and to file a final return. Some contractors may qualify to use a quarterly reporting method instead of the per-project deposit method.