Park City’s David Holland and Premier Resorts of Utah haven’t paid room tax since troubles began
May 26, 2009
The lodging companies in Park City that are in financial crises have also failed to pay taxes since the troubles began. That could soon affect Park City’s ability to promote itself to potential visitors.
As part of the larger financial troubles affecting Premier Resorts of Utah and David Holland Resort Lodging, neither company is current on paying transient room tax. That tax funds marketing efforts performed by the Park City Chamber/Bureau, explained executive director Bill Malone.
The three-percent tax on overnight stays of 30 days or less is supposed to be paid to the Utah State Tax Commission, which passes it on to Summit County, which contracts with the Chamber/Bureau to perform services.
Much of that tax from January through March is unpaid by both companies, Malone said. That money has already been budgeted into the fiscal year that begins in July.
"That’s having an implication on our budget because we don’t know when or if we’ll get that money," he said. "It’s a significant percentage."
Charley Roberts, spokesman for the tax commission, said he isn’t able to comment on situations regarding specific companies, but said a recession or a slow ski season cannot be blamed for unpaid taxes.
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"Businesses collect taxes from customers, and have responsibility to turn it over to the state," he said. "It’s held in trust, it’s not theirs to use."
Whether a company has 9 customers, or 9,000, the taxes are collected by the company and must be submitted.
"It’s basically stealing from customers. It’s not their money to keep," he said.
If a company refuses to pay the taxes, liens on property and criminal investigations can ensue, he said.
Premier Resorts of Utah spokesperson Bobby Foster acknowledged the unpaid taxes but said the debt will likely be addressed as part of the overall debt examined in the ongoing bankruptcy court process.
On Friday, the company submitted its official response to the involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition filed on April 27 to the U.S. bankruptcy court in Salt Lake City.
Also on Friday, Premier Resorts of Utah withdrew its staff from most of the condominium developments it manages in Park City. Its current operation in Park City is at "bare bones," spokesperson Bobby Foster said. The general managers of those lodges were terminated, he said.
The next bankruptcy hearing is scheduled for May 28.