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Beach house owners not collecting occupancy taxes

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WILMINGTON (AP) -- It's a good deal for vacationers, not for coastal governments. Property owners are increasingly arranging rentals of beach homes on the Internet. That makes it harder for local governments to track occupancy taxes they say they need for extra police and other tourism-related services. A landlord or real estate agent is supposed to add the tax to the rental price and send the money to local governments. Often the fee is withheld or not charged to make the rental property more attractive to potential renters. Ocean Isle Beach town officials say they've sent more than 300 letters to homeowners who've failed to collect the tax. Town Administrator Daisy Ivey says most of the landlords thought they could get away with not paying the tax while others didn't know about it. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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