Country Inn makes a partial tax payment
The Country Inn has filed the tax forms for hotel-motel taxes owed the Town of Bath since October and made a partial payment for two of those months, Police Chief Craig Pearrell told the Bath Town Council on May 15.
The council had asked Pearrell to investigate the overdue taxes at their May 1 meeting. At that time, council also instructed Attorney Richard Gay to prepare an injunction against the Inn.
Because of the partial payment of back taxes and on the advice of Gay, the council decided not to file the injunction at this time.
“His advice to us as a group was to not file it yet because we had received two payments and to see where this goes,” Mayor Susan Webster said.
Pearrell said he met with Nancy Sostaric, the Inn’s owner, and worked out a plan where back taxes since October would be paid by the second week of July.
Responding to a question from Barbara Wolfe, a member of Travel Berkeley Springs, Pearrell said the Inn paid $1001 for the month of January 2012 and $1370 for March 2012.
More taxes & fees owed
The Country Inn still owes garbage collection and street fees for that period as well as $35,500 in back hotel-motel taxes, garbage collection and street fees from a court-ordered judgment last October.
Councilman Andy Swaim, who chairs the Town Finance Committee, asked about collecting the other fees owed the town since October.
Webster said they can use Magistrate Court to collect the outstanding garbage and street fees.
Pearrell said a meeting is scheduled later this month between Gay and the Inn’s attorneys to discuss the court judgment.
Janice McQuan, an employee at the Inn, told council that she has not received her paycheck and was told by Sostaric that she didn’t have the money.
McQuan said Sostaric told her, “She’ll pay me when she gets ready to pay me.”
Wolfe pressed the issue of back hotel-motel taxes owed the town, of which Travel Berkeley Springs gets half.
“You have got to do something other than collect $2,300 on a $30,000 bill,” Wolfe said.
“You can either collect nothing or you can collect something,” Webster said. “I know this makes you so unhappy, but it is the way it is and our legal advice is to hold on the injunction.”
“Because she paid $2,300?” Wolfe responded.
Swaim reminded Wolfe the injunction can be filed at any time.
“My attitude is simple. If the money stops coming into me and these months aren’t paid, which I expressed to the owners of The Country Inn, I file the injunction and criminal charges and shut the doors,” Pearrell said.
Webster said to Wolfe, “It’s beyond the money at this point. It’s the drama and the gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. That’s what it is about at this point.”