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Lawmakers in Massillon, Ohio want landlords to help them collect taxes from tenants.

A city ordinance currrently requires landlords to report the name of every new tenant to the city’s tax department, within 30 days of leasing.

Landlords who fail to comply face fines starting at $50 for a first offense.

According to a news report, few landlords are aware of the requirement.

But the city wants to turn up the heat. In its next work session, lawmakers are slated to discuss extending the law to apply to commercial landlords, too.

Officials say that they are not worried that landlords themselves are attempting to avoid paying taxes by not reporting new leases.  Instead, they say too many part-time residents avoid the city’s 1.8 percent income tax, according to the report.

The city acknowledges that landlords already have to submit tenants’ names to the building department in order to maintain a rental license.  Because the departments do not share information, landlords currently must report the information separately to each department. Lawmakers say they will look into a way to avoid duplicating the burden.

Officials hope to have the program in full force by the first of year, according to the report.

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