Use Tax

The City of Brighton imposes a City use tax of 3.75% on: 

  • The purchase of motor vehicles outside the city limits by a City resident. This is typically paid when the vehicle is registered with the County and is then remitted to the City by the County. 
  • On any and all construction and building materials. The City use tax on building and construction materials is paid on an estimated basis when the building permit is issued. The permit must be presented to the vendor when purchasing building and construction materials for the permitted project in order to be exempt from City sales tax. The permit is reconciled when the project is completed to determine if there might have been an under or over payment on the permit.

Permitted Projects 

Construction materials, fixtures and supplies that become a part of a piece of real property in the course of a permitted project in the City of Brighton are subject to the City of Brighton’s construction use tax per the City’s Municipal Code. 

When a permit is pulled for a project in the City of Brighton, construction use tax is pre-paid on an estimated basis. The Contractor is responsible for tracking items and ensuring that the appropriate tax is ultimately remitted to the City. 

To avoid double payment of City tax, both the general contractor and subcontractors should present a copy of the building permit to all suppliers when purchasing construction materials that will become a part of the real property. Suppliers should not charge a city sales tax on materials regardless of where they are purchased. Suppliers should keep a copy of the permit or the permit number for their records. Credit will not be given for another jurisdictions’ tax paid on construction materials. Please note that taxes other than City taxes may still be due. 

Project Exemptions 

Charitable, governmental, or religious organizations are exempt for the City of Brighton’s sales and use tax when in the conduct of their regular charitable, governmental or religious capacity. 

The City of Brighton does not issue its own exemption certificate. The City recognizes the State of Colorado Contractors Exempt Certificate (89) that is issued to the general contractor for a specific exempt project. Exemption from building use tax is granted only if the specific exempt certificate is presented to the City’s Building Division at the time a permit is issued. 

Contractors working on exempt projects are still subject to tax for consumable supplies and other taxable transactions not exempted per the City’s Municipal Code. 

Permit Use Tax Reconciliation 

A permit use tax reconciliation form must be submitted to the City’s Finance – Sales Tax Division for projects with a valuation of $50,000 or more within 90 days of project completion. 

Contractors have the option of using the short or actual method. The short method is the easiest and quickest way to determine if there may have been an underpayment or overpayment of construction use tax on a permit. The actual method is more accurate, however, the process requires more documentation and takes longer to complete. 

Non-Permitted Projects 

Contractor’s performing non-permitted projects in the City of Brighton must have a City Business License issued through the City’s Finance Department – Sales Tax Division regardless of whether or not they have a physical location in the City. Material components (including fabrication labor) or improvements and repairs to real property that are not covered by a building permit are considered a sale of tangible personal property and sales tax should be collected on such transactions and remitted to the City in accordance with the City of Brighton Municipal Code. If non-taxable service or labor is not separately stated on the invoices provided to the purchaser, the entire transaction is taxable. 

Forms & Resources

Contact Us

Brighton Sales Tax &
Business Licensing

500 S. 4th Ave.
Brighton, CO 80601
Phone: 303-655-2041 Email:
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In-person by appointment only. Make an in-person appointment.

Brighton Building Division

(Contractor Licenses & Permits)

500 S 4 th Ave
Brighton, CO 80601
Phone: 303-655-2017