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City close to settling its final pulltab case

Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2002

The city is close to an agreement with a Juneau pulltab operator to collect $247,360 in outstanding sales taxes.

The city met with representatives from the Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 2 on Monday about collecting back taxes and is close to settling the case, Interim City Manager John MacKinnon said Monday.

"We're going to give them the proposal and they'll probably come back with a counter offer and that's about all I can tell you right now," MacKinnon said. "It's my goal to get these things settled and get them out of limbo-land."

Three Juneau pulltab operators refused to pay a 1 percent increase in city sales tax several years ago, unsuccessfully taking their case to the city's Sales Tax Board of Appeals, the Juneau Assembly and state Superior Court. The late Justice Jay Rabinowitz ruled last year that the operators owed the city about $900,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties.

The city worked out payment agreements with two operators - Multiple Charities Association Co-op and the Last Chance Co-op - earlier this year. Ten of 12 permittees connected with the two vendors have reached agreements with the city, City Finance Director Craig Duncan said.

"MCA and LCC are for the most part in compliance. We have two minor permittees we were unable to reach arrangements with," he said. "We seem to be moving ahead."

The third vendor, Alaska Native Brotherhood Camp 2, owed the city about $294,000 in taxes, interest and penalties, according to Rabinowitz's ruling last year, Duncan said. The amount of back taxes due the city is $247,360, he said. The outstanding taxes date to 1997.

While the vendors are required by law to pay back taxes, the city has flexibility in negotiating interest and penalties, MacKinnon said. Agreements with LCC and MCA covered taxes and some interest.

"It's our goal to get all of the taxes owed and some interest on that," MacKinnon said.

Representatives with ANB Camp 2 could not be reached for comment by the Empire's midday deadline.

Joanna Markell can be reached at joannam@juneauempire.com.



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