Palm Beach County is cracking down on vacation-rental owners, and increased enforcement last year reaped about $300,000 in additional bed taxes.
Tax Collector Anne Gannon told the Tourist Development Council on Thursday that she challenged her employees to come up with a plan to identify and collect from more short-term rental unit owners. Her office now uses information from vacation-rental-by-owner websites, Department of Revenue collections, the property appraiser’s office, anonymous tips and even utility use records.
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Anyone who rents a room, house, condo or other lodging unit for less than six months must pay tourism taxes, known as bed taxes, of 5 percent of the rental price.
Tax collector’s attempts to collect
> Investigating online rental listings, etc.
> Knocking on doors in targeted neighborhoods
> Educating HOAs and Realtors
> Handing out tip/complaint forms
> Registering properties
> Auditing registered properties
> Initiating enforcement process
> Monetary injunction is last resort
Bed tax revenue by source
93 percent - hotels and motels
1 percent - condos
2 percent - single-family homes
1 percent - Realtor/leasing
1 percent - timeshare
2 percent - other
Source: Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office