The city of Denison is considering its options on how best to pursue delinquent taxes owed by an area hotel.
The Denison City Council recently authorized City Manager Jud Rex and City Attorney Julie Fort to “pursue all remedies under the law for the collection of hotel occupancy taxes owed to the city” by the Hampton Inn and Suites, located near Morton Street and U.S. Highway 75.
“We are going to do anything we can to receive payment on those taxes,” Rex said following the first council meeting of November. “Historically, they have been late with payments or have not paid at all.”
However, representatives with the hotel are disputing the claims by the city. Hotel Manager Jeff Milnes said the hotel is up-to-date on its taxes to the city.
“I think you need to check your facts,” Milnes said in a phone interview Thursday.
The authorization was issued by the council in a unanimous decision Monday following a brief executive session in which the council discussed options. In the motion, council member Michael Baecht noted litigation could be considered as a way to collect on these tax debts.
Rex said the hotel is currently two, going on three, months behind on its hotel occupancy taxes, but said Denison has had issues in collecting from the hotel for closer to a year. Rex noted its payments are often late.
These taxes are based on the hotel’s occupancy and are calculated and reported to the city monthly. As these reports have not been made to Denison, Rex said city staff are uncertain how much money is owed to the city.
Milnes said he was uncertain as to when the taxes were last paid, but reiterated that he was certain the hotel was up to date.
Outside of potential litigation, Rex said the city has several other options it could use to pursue the missing payments.
“The ordinance provides several remedies, including penalties and fines, which have accumulated in the past and have been paid by the Hampton,” he said. “The ordinance also provides for civil actions against the hotel and that is the process that the City Council approved on Monday night.”