Setting record straight on Dewey tax

February 7, 2013

In the Jan 21 issue of the Cape Gazette, Kara Nuzback writes, "Homeowners who rent their property in Dewey Beach are charged a 3 percent accommodations tax on their gross proceeds each year."

Since this is not attributed to anyone, it is difficult to determine where this misinformation came from.  If it was Ms. Nuzback who stated this as fact, then she needs to be corrected. If she was quoting someone on the town council, then they should be reprimanded because they know better.

As has been stated many, many, times and as has been acknowledged by the town attorney and by members of the town council and budget committee at various times, the 3 percent accommodations tax is levied on the renters, not the property owers.  This is no different than the room tax someone pays if they rent a room at a motel.  In both cases, it is the responsibility of the property owners to collect this tax and send it to the appropriate authority, but they are not expected to pay it themselves.

In the past, some people have tried to obscure these facts and have repeatedly and inaccurately attempted to imply or state that this is a tax on the property owners.  That is simply not true, and to say anything else is blatant misinformation. Anyone who doubts this is true has only to go back and look at the discussions held in 2008 prior to the enactment of the tax.

Graham Smith
Dewey Beach

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