Faced with lawsuit, hotel agrees to pay taxes | RecordCourier.com

Faced with lawsuit, hotel agrees to pay taxes

by Amy Alonzo
Commissioners will discuss seeking court action to recover back property and room taxes from the owners of the Historian Inn in Gardnerville.
Kurt Hildebrand |

After being faced with a lawsuit in district court, the operator of the Historian Inn has agreed to pay more than $100,000 in room taxes owed to the county.

Commissioners on Thursday reluctantly approved 4-1 a settlement proposed by Deputy District Attorney Doug Ritchie and agreed to by Mammoth Lakes-based CLE Hospitality LLC, the operator of the inn.

The agreement only addresses a portion of the room taxes owed to the county; it also does not address property taxes owed. However, the agreement is “unequivocally” the quickest way to get money back to the county, Ritchie said.

Commissioners in January unanimously voted to file a complaint in district court against the inn for arrears totaling more than $200,000, including $31,000 in property taxes and $171,000 in room (transient occupancy) taxes.

CLE has since made payments and reduced the amount of property taxes owed to $24,000; however, the company disputed the amount of room taxes actually owed.

After discussions with a county auditor and the county treasurer, CLE admitted it owed $112,000 in room taxes, penalties and interest. The company has agreed to make quarterly lump sum payments and monthly payments of $3,800, with the balance to be paid off within a year.

Commissioner Steve Thaler cast the dissenting vote against the agreement.

“I think it sets a bad precedent,” he said.

Board chairman Barry Penzel voted for the agreement, although he expressed reservations.

“I think we’ve been overly generous with her (Deborah Pierrel, owner of CLE) at this point and I’m not convinced she can stay in business. I see that that’s going to be a problem,” he said. “I have a tough time cutting more and more slack.”

As part of the agreement CLE also agreed to a confession of judgment. If CLE fails to make payments, the county can record a judgment against the company for the full amount due. A trial would not be required.

The Historian Inn is located at 1427 Highway 395 in Gardnerville.