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Bar owner charged with not paying city sales tax

Charging documents: City seeking about $42,000 in restitution

Posted: September 28, 2012 - 6:29pm  |  Updated: September 30, 2012 - 12:09am
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Patrick Peterson, owner of Douglas Bar, is being charged with failure to pay city sales tax  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Patrick Peterson, owner of Douglas Bar, is being charged with failure to pay city sales tax

A Douglas bar owner is facing charges for failing to pay city sales taxes.

Patrick M. Peterson, 55, the owner of PP’s Douglas Inn located at 915 Third Street in Douglas, is charged with 16 misdemeanor counts of violating the City and Borough of Juneau’s uniform sales tax code.

According to charging documents, Peterson failed to file a CBJ Sales Tax Return and remit the sales tax for periods in 2009 through 2011.

An affidavit filed by Assistant City Attorney August Petropulos states Peterson, and his corporation Peterson Pacific Holdings Inc., were given notice twice that Peterson had sales tax due.

Peterson was informed in May 2011 that he owed the city a total of about $20,937 in unremitted sales tax, penalties and interest for parts of 2009, 2010 and 2011. Notice was given in January 2012 that he owed a total of $13,933 for June, September and December of 2011, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit states Peterson failed to respond.

CBJ is seeking about $42,084 in restitution, the affidavit states. That includes the unremitted sales tax, penalties and interest.

Court records indicate a jury trial slated to begin earlier this month was vacated in lieu of a ‘change of plea’ hearing. That hearing is slated to take place in Juneau District Court before Judge Keith Levy on Oct. 5.

Peterson is represented by attorney John A. Leque. Peterson did not return phone calls seeking comment Friday.

Another business owner was charged and convicted of the same offense earlier this year. Larry Lee Lynd, owner of the Woolly Mammoth Gifts and Sourdough Larry’s, pleaded guilty to some of the charges against him and was ordered by the court in April to pay nearly $192,000 in unremitted sales tax.

The City and Borough of Juneau announced in an advertisement in the Empire on Friday that it is actively pursuing the collection of city sales taxes owed from all business owners in Juneau.

The newspaper ad listed all the businesses that are delinquent in filing and/or remitting of the tax, as of Sept. 12 of this year.

According to the report, 47 active businesses in Juneau owe a total of about $244,967 in sales taxes. The business that owed the most, according to the report, was Gold in Quartz, which owed $34,705.24.

Nine businesses that have closed their accounts with CBJ but still owe sales tax, owe a total of $52,920, the report states.

About 90 businesses failed to respond to requests to file sales tax returns, which is required under the CBJ sales tax ordinance.

The vast majority of businesses in the borough pay their city sales tax, which is collected by merchants in the normal course of business to be held in trust for CBJ.

Joan Roomsburg, the city sales tax administrator and signee of the advertisement, wrote in the ad that the businesses listed only represented a small minority of merchants in the borough. The amount of delinquent tax listed represents less than 0.08 percent of CBJ’s annual sales tax collections, the report says.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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