Taxman has his eye on Madison County rentals

Madison County Tourism, Inc. wants to remind local residents that when renting their homes, cottages and rooms; that there is a 4 percent room occupancy tax that must be collected from short term rentals on top of the state and local sales tax of eight percent.

In 2008 a local law was extended authorizing a four percent tax to enhance the local economy through promotion of tourist related activities. The law requires that any person operating a bed and breakfast, hotel, motel, tourist home, boarding house, cottage, motor court or club, bunkhouse, lodge, trailer, or camper which have been established upon a site by the owner or user, campsite, and similar establishment for rental in the County of Madison, and which is regularly used and kept open for the lodging of guests, shall collect the tax from people renting for less than 30 days. In short, if you are renting to visitors who are here less than 30 days you are required to collect this tax.

Madison County Tourism, Inc. Executive Director Jim Walter says that most establishments comply with the law. "There are some people who will rent their home or their camp who just don't know they are supposed to be collecting sales and occupancy taxes. It is not that they are purposely evading the tax collection; they just don't realize it applies to them. For example, if you rent your home for Colgate graduation and homecoming, you must register and collect the tax, if you have a summer camp on the lake that you rent, you must register and collect the tax. It is a matter of fairness for the other properties that are collecting that tax." The law states that this tax must be collected and there are possible penalties that can be imposed if a business does not collect

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