Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Housing News Digest, August 2

Americans cut spending for first time in 20 months
WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back on their spending in June for the first time in nearly two years and their incomes grew by the smallest amount in nine months, a troubling sign for an economy that is barely growing.

Consumer spending dropped 0.2 percent in June, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Some of the decline was caused by declining food and energy prices, which had spiked in recent months. When excluding spending on those items, consumer spending was flat.

10 signs the double-dip recession has begun
Friday's news on GDP shows the double dip has arrived — an expansion of only 1.3 percent and consumer spending up 0.1 percent in the second quarter. Astonishingly low by any account. The debt ceiling trouble and lack of a longer term resolution to the deficit will make it worse.

The U.S. has entered a second recession. It may not be as bad as the first. Economists say that the Great Recession began in December 2007 and lasted until July 2009. That may be the way that the economy was seen through the eyes of experts, but many Americans do not believe that the 2008-2009 downturn ever ended. A Gallup poll released in April found that 29 percent of those queried thought the economy was in a “depression” and 26 percent said that the original recession had persisted into 2011.

Colorado Ski Towns Scour Slopes for Cold Cash

Some tony Colorado ski towns are cracking down on people who rent out their homes without paying taxes, as local governments keep scouring the tax terrain for hidden revenue.

The hard part is collecting, without spending more on the effort than the revenue it reaps.

Aspen estimates it is losing $100,000 a year in revenue—in a budget of about $86 million—on residents who fail to get a business license and pay taxes when they rent out their houses or condos, according to Don Taylor, Aspen's finance director. City officials have proposed that property owners apply for a permit that would be revoked for noncompliance, such as not offering adequate off-street parking. The planning commission will discuss the proposal Tuesday.

City zeros in on vacation rental tax scofflaws
A controversial proposal to tax and regulate Aspen homeowners who privately rent their properties has caught the attention of some critics.

Those who work in the real estate industry and individuals who privately rent their Aspen properties are taking issue with the city of Aspen’s plan to subject a segment of vacation rentals to sales and lodging taxes

Wheat Ridge moves ahead without Cabela's
Wheat Ridge will move ahead with its plans for a 210-acre Clear Creek Crossing retail development despite the loss of outdoor-gear store Cabela’sbizWatch as an anchor, officials said Monday. The retailer said last week it intends to sell its 80-acre store site at Interstate 70 and Colorado 58. Cabela’s bought the site in 2004.