City says seven hotels are delinquent
June 19, 2013 12:25 PM
Jim E. Winburn, Staff Writer

VICTORVILLE • The city unanimously passed a resolution at its Tuesday meeting to collect about $520,000 in unpaid hotel taxes from seven local establishments.

The city performed a transient occupancy tax audit on 21 hotels for a three-year span from 2010 to 2012. According to a city staff report, the audit revealed that seven of the city’s hotels had “substantial errors in the reporting of the taxes for the audit period totaling $520,132.92.”

Philip Elghanian, who represents Green Tree Inn & Extended Stay Suites, spoke during Tuesday’s public hearing to plead with the council to reconsider the resolution and to focus more on helping businesses in the city.

The city says Green Tree Inn & Extended Stay Suites owes $65,602.08. Elghanian challenged the city’s calculations.

“Don’t come and hit the people who are paying their taxes … hurting us further than what we are,” he said. “We never asked for any tax credits, any help. We are rebuilding our place to be a masterpiece for the city of Victorville. We are hoping to stay in this community — helping this community.”

At the city’s budget workshop prior to Tuesday’s City Council meeting, City Chief Financial Officer Adele Mosher said the audit’s discovery has created a bit of a windfall for the next fiscal year’s budget.

“We’ll probably have a large (transient occupancy tax) revenue that we will receive for 2013 to 2014 because of that audit,” Mosher said.

According to the city’s detailed revenue budget for the upcoming year, transient occupancy tax revenue is projected at more than $1 million for the next year’s proposed budget, up from the current year’s take of less than $800,000.

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