CLEARFIELD – Clearfield County is going after a local hotel that hasn’t been filing its hotel tax reports, as required.
On Tuesday the commissioners authorized Solicitor Kim Kesner to take enforcement action and file a summary offense complaint against the Red Roof Inn.
He said Treasurer Carol A. Fox, the collection agent under the county’s hotel tax ordinance, reported to him that the hotel hasn’t filed any reports since it’s been under new management.
Kesner said hotels are required quarterly to file a report of the number of rooms rented and the taxes they’ve collected, and it appears the Red Roof Inn has been renting rooms since 2017.
Via certified and regular mail dated May 8, Kesner sent a letter to the hotel’s owner to give official notice that failure to file reports with the treasurer is a violation of the ordinance.
Kesner said the certified mailing was accepted, and in his notice, he directed the owner to contact the treasurer’s office within 10 business days with the following responses:
- offering access to the county treasurer of all records necessary to confirm taxes collected. He said the amount owed to the county is currently unknown because hotel tax reports haven’t been filed.
- a good faith payment to the treasurer for the amounts they’ve calculated were collected and delinquent.
- a commitment to file the required returns with payment of taxes by the 25th day of the month following the second calendar quarter of this year.
“I felt that notice would give the Red Roof Inn an opportunity to cure its violation,” Kesner said, “and if that occurred, I’d be able to come to the commissioners with an appropriate recommendation.
“However, we received no response despite the regular mailing and the certified mailing.” He subsequently requested the authorization to file a summary offense complaint with the magistrate.
The complaint, he said, will allege violations of the hotel tax ordinance by failure to file reports from the commencement of operation. He noted that under the ordinance, every day of a violation is a separate offense.
Once the complaint has been filed, he recommended that the treasurer notify the Red Roof Inn of a date she will review records to determine what past taxes should have been collected.
If that is prevented, Kesner said it may result in another violation, but ultimately either he or his successor will come back to the commissioners concerning how to proceed with the collection of past-due amounts.