City lawsuit alleges taxicab companies owe back-sales taxes

Posted: Wednesday, March 31, 2004

The owners of two Juneau taxi companies owe the city more than $100,000 in unpaid sales tax, interest and penalties, a lawsuit filed Tuesday morning alleges.

The lawsuit claims Juneau Taxi and Tours and Metro Taxi owe the city money for unpaid sales taxes from as far back as Jan. 1, 2001. Meanwhile, individual taxi drivers associated with the companies apparently were collecting sales taxes from their passengers, Assistant City Attorney Margaret Boggs wrote.

The action specifically names Sky Bonnell, Lynn Harris, James Harris and Russel Windom as operators of one or both companies for at least part of the period that the taxes allegedly went unpaid.

Lynn Harris responded to phone calls to the companies and said Tuesday that she was unaware of the lawsuit and could not comment.

Defendants will have 20 days after officially being served notice of the suit to file a response to its allegations.

The suit alleges the companies' owners owe Juneau at least $104,914.31 in sales taxes and $712.84 in business personal property taxes, including interest and penalties. Precise figures will be shown at trial, Boggs wrote.

"Despite repeated notices, defendants have failed to pay said indebtedness to plaintiff," Boggs wrote.

She said the largest portion of the claim, $101,383.32, was determined by city auditors, covering all of 2001 and 2002, and includes penalties and interest through March 16, 2004.

The suit alleges that for that period, the defendants failed to file city sales tax returns setting forth the total amount of all sales, rentals and services, as required by city code.

From Jan. 1, 2003 to Sept. 30, 2003, the suit alleges, the defendants failed to remit sales taxes levied on all sales, rentals and services required by city code. That total was figured at $2,100.30.

The defendants allegedly owe $1,430.69 from 2003 and adds that more specific amounts would be shown at trial.

Boggs wrote that sales taxes "are to be held in trust by the defendant for the benefit of the public."



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