To the Readers' Forum:
The recent legislative respite for owner collection of bed tax fees for many rental cottages is ridiculous. The four month owner respite until Dec. 1, not to collect the fees, which are pennies on the dollar, makes me think they were the ones paying this tax. Aug. 1 should have been the deadline. No doubt, for at least some owners, they simply overlooked the responsibility.
It is estimated that about $25,000 a year has been lost in bed taxes from these properties. That is a small share of annual bed tax fees, but project that figure over the unpaid years of non-collection. Some owners, perhaps, were ignorant of this requirement. But we are all aware of the old adage of ignorance and the law.
Those lost revenues could have been paying fro needed projects such as easing sediment runoff o=into our lakes. County Finance Director Susan Marsh's calling for an end to this long standing discrepancy is certainly warranted.
Thomas J. Harte