Out-of-state bank pays off La Quinta’s delinquent hotel occupancy taxes

By CHARLES RICHARDS
eParisExtra.com

The City of Paris has recovered the back taxes, penalties and interest owed by La Quinta for its delinquent occupancy taxes, finance director Gene Anderson says.

As of the end of the 2011-2012 fiscal year, “all hotels were current on their occupancy taxes except La Quinta,” Anderson said in a weekend report to the Paris City Council, which meets at 5:30 p.m. today.

Celtic Bank foreclosed on the local La Quinta Inn on Aug. 7.

“The bank was notified of the hotel tax delinquency, and they paid $45,859.05 in October for all back taxes, penalties and interest,” Anderson said.

Repeated delinquencies drew the council’s interest, and La Quinta was given permission to pay back the late taxes monthly, but had not been faithful to keep up with the plan.

Once Celtic Bank foreclosed, it took care of the situation.

Relating to other city finances, Anderson reported:

Sales taxes are flat, exceeding last year’s collections by $1,389.
Franchise fees are up 0.37 percent for the year.
Permit fees are up 30 percent.
Municipal court fines are 13.38 percent above last year’s collections.
Interest and lease payments are up $28,072.
Mixed beverage tax collection is down $14,649, or 25.29 percent.
Recreation program fees are up $110,548, or 8.86 percent.
Water revenue is down 5.36 percent.

Anderson said five departments exceeded their budgets for the 2011-2012 fiscal year:

1. Parks Department, $47,383 over budget, due primarily to Hiring Partners contract workers.
2. Emergency Medical Services, $55,487 over budget, primarily due to fuel and medical supplies.
3. Paris Band, $568 over budget because of payments to band members.
4. Water Production, $20,830 over budget because of chemical costs; and
5. Wastewater Treatment, $14,433 over budget because of chemical costs.

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About the Author
Author

Charles Richards Charles Richards moved to Paris in 2004 after retiring from a 40-year career in journalism – the last 26 years as a news writer and sports writer with The Associated Press in Dallas and Washington, D.C. In mid-2004, The Paris News coaxed him out of retirement, and he began covering the police, court and regional beat for The Paris News. Then in early 2005, he was switched to coverage of a sharply divided Paris City Council. He was appointed by the City Council in 2006 to the 12-member City Charter Review Commission, which extensively rewrote the outmoded document. His writing awards include two first-place awards in statewide competition for feature writing. The most recent was his 2005 story on a Paris doctor’s startling use of leeches in a successful attempt to re-attach a man’s severed ear. Over his career, Richards’ interview subjects include Alabama Gov. George Wallace, President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush, David Koresh, Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali and numerous other political and sports figures. He is an alumnus of Texas Tech, where he was editor of the school newspaper. He lives in Paris with his wife, Barbara, who is retired after 30 years as a teacher and high school counselor.