The City of Aspen Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) of approximately 1.5% is due upon the closing of a property within the City of Aspen. The tax is about 1.5% of the closing price payable by the buyer.  It is apportioned for two beneficiaries: 1) The affordable housing fund gets 1.0%;  2) The Wheeler Opera House portion gets almost 0.5%.

Sometimes, it is difficult to figure out if there is the transfer tax or not. This should help:

Five Trees – Yes. City of Aspen (annexed). 5 Trees was originally in Pitkin County but annexed to the City. Good Q’s to ask: What rules apply, City or County? Esp for tree cutting? Approved FAR (Floor Area Ratio)…. What size home can one build? By original County regs: 6000 above , 4000 below, 750 sq ft garage , 5 trees is PUD.

Maroon Creek – Yes. City of Aspen (annexed)

Aspen Highlands – Yes. City of Aspen (annexed) – special district –  includes Thunderbowl Townhomes, etc.
Aspen Highlands property taxes are significantly higher than other Aspen areas. Reason: In order for the developer, Hines Development, to obtain development approval in the late 1990’s they had to form an Aspen Highlands Metro District for which there are bond payments and/or with a special transportation district for year round bus shuttle and free taxi service round trip to Aspen.

Aspen Highlands/Glen Eagles Drive Area – No. Pitkin County, Moore PUD…No RETT tax

Meadowood = No. Pitkin County, no RETT. Part of what makes Meadowood appealing, especially to developers is the fact that Pitkin County allows an additional 2,528 sq ft of floor area per property (as their pro rata portion of Meadowood Open Space.)

Mountain Valley = No, no RETT = Pitkin County (zoned R15A: There are 106 total lots of which 27 are specific duplex lots.)

McSkimming/Eastwood = Yes. City of Aspen. Yes, there is RETT.

Knollwood – Yes/No, depends. For some properties on the river side of HWY 82, there is no transfer tax.

Red Butte Dr = Yes. City of Aspen. Yes there is RETT tax

Red Mountain = Yes: Bottom part is in the City (yes, RETT); No: upper part in Pitkin County (no RETT). In general, the border is the Rio Grande Trail but should always be confirmed.

– Willoughby Way – No RETT transfer tax;

– Red Mountain Rd – No RETT transfer tax;

– Shady Lane – Yes and no, individual property needs to be researched.

For more info call City of Aspen Planner of the Day  970.429.2764

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