Sunday, December 22, 2013

County seeks ways to compel landlords to collect tourism taxes | FLORIDA TODAY |

On the topic of short-term vacation rentals. You remember all of the discussion recently about the proliferation of short term rentals and how state law bars strict local regulation. Right now, in Lake Worth, the shortest stay allowed is two months. Enforcement is an issue of course, but this is another issue: Collection of bed and sales taxes. Many people running these short term rentals don't know they need to be collecting the taxes. Hotels want this to happen so short term rentals don't get a competitive pricing advantage. This article comes from Brevard County. Click title for link.
"Tipton, though, doesn’t envision a massive enforcement action with “boots on the ground, knocking on people’s doors.”
Rather, he expects the county will have an educational campaign about the rules, with real estate, property management and homeowners’ association representatives invited to seminars to explain the rules.
Cullen recently included a flier with her office’s mailing of 320,000 property tax bills, as well as with business tax renewal notice mailings, explaining the Tourist Development Tax. The flier informed people that short-term rental property owners need to register to collect the tax. She also has a form on her office’s website for people to report potential tourist tax evaders.
“The greatest tool I have is education,” Cullen said. “Most people want to comply with the law. And once they know it’s due, they pay it.”