- Paris Flash
- Real Estate
By CHARLES RICHARDS
The City of Paris has collected more hotel and motel occupancy taxes this fiscal year than at the same time a year ago despite the failure of La Quinta Inn to pay the city for the July-through-September and the October-through-December quarters.
City finance director Gene Anderson, responding to an inquiry from District 5 councilman Matt Frierson at Thursday night’s city council meeting, said all Paris hotels are current on their occupancy taxes except La Quinta.
“La Quinta is delinquent for the first quarter of 2011, but paid the bulk of its obligation for the second quarter of 2011,” Anderson said. “They are also delinquent for the third and fourth quarters of 2011.”
On Feb. 7, Anderson and city attorney Kent McIlyar met with the owner and hotel manager, who promised to stay current on occupancy taxes from now on, plus pay $3,000 per month on the back taxes owed until the indebtedness is erased.
“At that rate it will take approximately 15 months for them to pay the back tax due,” the finance director said.
Frierson asked, “Based on past issues, do you think they will live up to the agreement?”
“Well, they made the first three payments,” Anderson replied. “I’m not going to predict from there. But I think they want to do that. They realize if they fail to do that, they’ll end up in court and more than likely would have to shut down, and they don’t want that to happen.”
According to Anderson’s monthly financial report, the city has collected $328,344 in hotel occupancy taxes through the first seven months of the 2011-2012 fiscal year, covering from Oct. 1, 2011, through April 30, 2012.
That’s $21,419, or 7 percent, more than the $306,925 the city had collected for the first seven months of the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Anderson also reported:
The city is seven-twelfths of the way through the fiscal year, and three city departments have spent more than seven-twelfths of their annual budget, Anderson.
He identified the three departments as the police, the city airport, and the wastewater treatment plant.
He attributed the police department overage of $58,619 to supplies for the animal pound, and higher than anticipated expense for the emergency notification system, funds for confidential informants, information technology expenses, and maintenance of buildings and equipment.
The overage at Cox Field amounts to $25,959 and is due to the grant match payments to TxDOT for paving runways at the airport, he said.
The overage at the wastewater treatment plant is $40,354 and is due to chemical costs, TCEQ license fees, and maintenance of pumps and motor maintenance.
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