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County pursuing legal action to recover back taxes
Hotel owes $38,000 from last summer
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Dawson County Commissioners last week agreed to move forward with litigation against a local innkeeper in an effort to recoup more than $30,000 in delinquent hotel/motel taxes.

Comfort Inn on Beartooth Parkway owes $38,410 dating back to July, August, September and October of last year, according to Dawson County Chief Financial Officer Dena Bosten.

She said the total includes nearly $8,000 in penalties and interest.

"This figure, however, does not include legal fees," she said.

The county has been in a battle over late hotel/motel taxes with Comfort Inn, operated as Spectrum Management and owned by Vilas Patel, for the last several years.

Legal action against the business was also pursued in May 2012 when management was nearly $10,000 behind and again last April when more than $11,000 in hotel/motel taxes was past due.

On both occasions, the taxes were eventually paid.

Hotel/motel taxes are due to the county by the 20th of each month for the previous month.
The tax rate, which is a percentage of the room rate, is 8 percent in the county.

A portion of the funds are for the county's general spending, while the remainder is used to support and promote tourism-related initiatives.

An employee at Comfort Inn referred questions to management, who did not immediately reply.

Attempts to reach the hotel's corporate headquarters also were not successful.

According to the county's resolution on excise tax, penalties, interest and court fees could be added to the total owed.