Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Tax Man Rings Twice

Did you catch Mike Masterson's column last Saturday? He spent the first half of it applauding the raids on four Acambaro Mexican restaurants in Northwest Arkansas and lecturing his readers on why the law must be obeyed, regardless of whether the food was good or the employees were working long hours for mediocre pay in hope of a better life. The feds closed them all and are seeking civil forfeiture of all the restaurants and two offices of Garcia’s Distribution Company.

Then Masterson lamented the fact that
Shanghai, the Chinese restaurant at 1998 North College Avenue "closed its doors forever at the end of November. It had become one of the city’s most popular lunchtime and after-church eateries. It had been our favorite for Chinese, especially for lunch on Sundays. The owners said they were closing because they were weary and had enjoyed all of the restaurant business that they could stand. Farewell lemon chicken...." He failed to mention in this paean of praise that the Arkansas DF&A Office of Excise Tax Administration had slapped a Business Closure Order on Shanghai's owners back on March 20th for failing to remit sales taxes collected for the third time or to include a pious sermonette insisting that the tax laws must be obeyed.

Something else interesting shows up in the roll call of tax slackers in DF&A's List of Businesses Served with Business Closure Notices -- more indicia of bad news for the Benton County Bubble. In the last quarter of 2007, seven Benton County businesses have been served: B & N Construction LLC, What's for Dinner? Johnny's! and Samurai Japanese Steak/Sushi in Bentonville; Luxe Derma Spa and American Maid Service of NWA in Rogers; Digital Images by Laurie May in Bella Vista; and Arkansas Tool & Auto Repair in Lowell. By contrast, only one business in Washington County made the quarterly list of deadbeats, Shearp Graphics of Springdale.

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