Beach House Owners Not Collecting Occupancy Taxes

It's a good deal for vacationers, --not-- for coastal governments.

Property owners are increasingly arranging rentals of beach homes through the Internet. That allows renters to avoid paying occupancy taxes that local governments say they need for 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.