The Kansas Department of Revenue is seeking more than $2.2 million in back taxes from the former owners of the Broadview Hotel and the current general manager.
The department wasn't able to issue tax warrants against Broadview Hospitality Holdings previously because the company was in bankruptcy. The bankruptcy was dismissed in July.
The state won't be able to retrieve all of the money it thinks it's owed because the statute of limitations has run out on some of it.
"We'll get a big chunk of it," says Nancee Crider , problem resolution manager in the compliance enforcement division of the Department of Revenue. "The very vast, vast majority ... is collectible."
There are tax warrants assessed for several individuals as well, including former owner Mordechai Boaziz , his associate, Ovadia Oved , and current Broadview general manager Scott Ragatz .
"After talking with all the people involved, we really do not believe there was any wrongdoing by Scott," says Jennifer Kornblum , corporate counsel for DSW Broadview , which currently owns the hotel.
Kornblum says Ragatz was never an owner in the Broadview. She says the bankruptcy court appointed him to manage the hotel.
"He acted responsibly and appropriately for his position, and he kept dozens of people employed in a company that otherwise would have shut down," she says.
"The potential assessment for the taxes is on appeal with the Kansas Department of Revenue," says Chris O'Brien , Ragatz's attorney.
"Mr. Ragatz disputes that he owes those taxes."
Kornblum says she doesn't know why the state thinks Ragatz owes money.
"I do know the state of Kansas is broke, and they are making an effort to collect money wherever they can, but this effort is misdirected at Scott."
Crider won't speak to Ragatz's situation, but generally speaking, she says, "We don't just wildly assess whoever we want to. We have to have a good reason to assess individuals."
Kornblum thinks the case against Ragatz eventually will be dropped.
"We just have every faith in him, and I don't think this is going to go very far."
Sailor's World Famous Tattoos has a temporary reprieve and can remain in Towne West Square until at least Jan. 26.
Raul Tanguma and Justin Haas recently learned their 3-month-old business doesn't have the proper zoning.
"We did receive some... citizen complaints," says Kurt Schroeder , superintendent of the city's Office of Central Inspection .
The city told them they had to be gone from the mall by last week, but they have been granted an extension.
Schroeder says Tanguma has been given time to decide if he and the mall want to pursue zoning changes and community unit plan amendments to get to stay.
Towne West has limited commercial zoning, which doesn't allow tattoo parlors, and also has a CUP that further restricts uses in the mall.
A few years back, the city tightened its zoning provisions for tattoo parlors and piercing establishments.
Tanguma may seek a review to change those provisions.
"It'll be interesting," Schroeder says.
If Tanguma pursues zoning changes, he'll likely need an extension past Jan. 26.
"We're going to kind of play it by ear," Schroeder says.
Tanguma is proceeding as if he's going to get to stay. In fact, he wants to invite people to bring old sailor pictures to his shop so he can display them.
He'd like "actual local guys, preferably."
You don't say
"I consider that business.... Cha-ching!"
—Fire investigator Kent Grier , joking at a party Friday where someone was playing with hot candle wax