Who is really being taxed in Dewey

March 4, 2013

I read with interest Graham Smith's letter on the Dewey Beach accommodations tax. Mr. Smith is correct about all the discussion before implementation that the party renting the property would be taxed and not the owner.

I have always felt the owners renting their property were sold a bill of goods. If one reads the letter sent to rental owners, it states very clearly that the tax is a gross revenue tax and owed to the Town of Dewey Beach by the property owner, not the renter.

Of course the owners, at their discretion, can reimburse themselves by passing the cost on to the person or persons renting and occupying the property. This makes me wonder, doesn't this make the owner an agent of the Town of Dewey Beach? Do I need a license to collect taxes on behalf of the town? Perhaps my rental license gives me that authority. Mr. Smith, what do you think?

Realtors collect the tax on behalf of the owner of the rental unit, but the owner still owes the tax.

This does not mean I feel the tax is improper, but I write in an attempt to state my analysis of who really is being taxed.

C. S. Hihn
Rehoboth Beach

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