April 20, 2011
Missouri Department of Revenue Asks Court to Close Blue Springs Motels Until Owner Abides by State Tax Laws
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Revenue has filed an injunction to close two Blue Springs motels for operating without a state sales tax license and failure to pay sate and local sales taxes.
The petition for injunction, filed Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court, asks for the closure of the America's Best Value Inn and Midwest Inn (both located at 1110 N. 7th Highway in Blue Springs) until its management begins to abide by Missouri tax laws.
"Most hotels, motels and inns legally operate with up-to-date business licenses and pay the taxes that are owed," said Alana M. Barragán-Scott, director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. "It's not fair to those businesses when others try to skirt the law and avoid paying the taxes that are due."
The petition was filed against MGP Investments, LLC, which is the company that operates the motels. The registered agent for the company is Stephanie Hazelton of Kansas City, MO. The company has operated the motels since at least 2006, and it has also done business as Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn.
According to the petition, the company did not obtain a state sales tax license before it opened or since it has been in operation, as required by state law.
The company's current outstanding state and local sales tax liability is $193,350. This figure represents unpaid sales taxes for almost every month between August of 2007 and January of 2011. The total debt includes the base tax owed ($153,746), interest and penalties, including a $10,000 penalty for continually operating without a state sales tax license.
The petition specifically asks the court to direct the company to keep the hotel closed until it pays the taxes that are due, posts a sales tax bond and submits an application for a valid sales tax license. Circuit Court Judge Edith L. Messina has ordered a May 4 hearing to determine if the Department's request will be granted.
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