Lewis County Businesses Not Paying Taxes?

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The Timberview Lodge in Turin owes several thousand dollars in bed taxes to Lewis County. 

(Bed taxes are municipal taxes added to the price of a hotel room.)

The manager says it's because opponents of all-terrain vehicles have ruined his business.

"Without the ATVs, we cannot survive," said John DeGuardia.

The Timberview shows up on documents obtained by Bruce Krug, who filed Freedom of Information requests for businesses cited for bed tax delinquencies.

There are many more.

"What it shows is that the county is not doing its due diligence in pursuing delinquent bed tax," said Krug.  "There has been one as long as seven years, it appears, has been steadily delinquent."

But county officials say the documents Krug asked for tell only part of the story.

"He did not ask for evidence that people had cured their delinquencies," said County Attorney Richard Graham.

Graham also said Krug's documents don't show phone calls or meetings.

"There's a lot of other efforts that are not necessarily shown in the correspondence," said Graham.

Krug, though, says there's no evidence of any legal collection efforts and his concerns are echoed by at least one county lawmaker.

"I've got some of the records, too, and there's been some delinquencies that just haven't been followed," said county Legislator Paul Stanford (D. - District 7).

Graham says just one business has gone more than a year without paying and that legal action is being pursued.

Sunday, December 21, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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