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County Working to Collect Tax Debts from Shuttered Restaurants

By ARLnow.com - ARLNow.com

Friday - 3/1/2013, 11:35am  ET

The former Eleventh Street Lounge in ClarendonClosed restaurants dominate the list of meals tax delinquencies in Arlington County. The latest list, from December, includes only 3 currently-open restaurants among the 23 that owe the county more than $10,000.

(Meals tax delinquencies are often accrued when restaurants collect a required tax on food from customers but then fail to pay the collected funds to Arlington County.)

The open restaurants on the list include Extra Virgin (4053 Campbell Avenue) in Shirlington, which has been gradually paying off its debt. The restaurant now owes the country $38,402.12, down from $54,568.51 one year prior. Also on the list is Monuments Restaurant (2480 S. Glebe Road), a restaurant in the Comfort Inn hotel on Glebe Road near I-395. Monuments owes $27,722.09 according to the list, which is published by the county treasurer’s office. Village Bistro (1723 Wilson Blvd), located between Rosslyn and Courthouse, is listed as owing $19,614.13.

Among closed restaurants, the former Bebo Trattoria owes $173,716.28, up from $167,366.79 last year due to interest. Bebo owner Roberto Donna is currently the chef at Al Dente restaurant in D.C., and is planning to helm a second restaurant in the District soon. By court order, he is paying the county $500 per month.

The second-highest meals tax debt to the county is $121,126.93, which is owed by the former Eleventh Street Lounge in Clarendon.

Christopher J. Sadowski, Arlington’s Deputy Treasurer for Litigation, says the county is trying to collect its debts, even from the owners of closed restaurants. He said the Treasurer’s Office has an “increased focus on and aggressiveness in collecting delinquent meals taxes.”

“Clearly, older debts are harder to collect, and the likelihood that assets and responsible parties can be located decreases the longer a business has been closed,” Sadowski said. “The Treasurer, however, does not give up on or forget about any delinquent account (though we do allocate our resources and efforts as appropriate). As evidence of that, we are now receiving payments from some long-closed restaurants near the top of the list for the first time in years due to recent collection efforts by this Office.”

“Now, do I think that despite our very best efforts, some of those delinquent accounts and dollars will go uncollected?” he continued. “In reality and unfortunately, yes.”

Sadowski said the county is also proactively trying to prevent other restaurants from falling behind on their meals tax payments.

“We do not allow restaurants to fall behind, or at least not very far behind, in remitting their meals tax payments,” he said.

The delinquency list (above $10,000), after the jump.

R D TRATTORIA INC (BEBO TRATTORIA) $173,716.28
RTM INVESTMENT GROUP (LP ELEVENTH STREET) $121,126.93
ARLINGTON CATERING CO LLC (ARLINGTON CATERING CO LLC) $82,699.47
MURKY ARLINGTON LLC (MURKY COFFEE) $64,604.27
TF 629 CORPORATION (WALL STREET DELI) $47,401.31
WALL STREET DELI SYSTEMS INC#606 (WALL STREET DELI #629) $42,589.36
JULI LIEBERMAN FINE CATERING SERVICES INC (RESTAURANT VERO) $39,831.22
EXTRA VIRGIN OF SHIRLINGTON LLC (EXTRA VIRGIN) $38,402.12
ANA RAMIREZ (LAS DELICIAS RESTAURANT) $29,707.19
MONUMENTS FOOD SERVICE LLC (MONUMENTS REST/COMFORT INN) $27,722.09
LUKLYN RESTAURANTS INC (CHARLEYHOUSE GRILL) $27,626.34
SAIGONIQUE INC (SAIGONIQUE RESTAURANT) $21,806.97
RK AND AG INC (ARMAND’S PIZZA) $20,667.49
CASA D’PASTA INC (CASA D’PASTA INC) $20,661.29
ENJERA ERITREAN RESTAURANT LLC (ENJERA RESTAURANT) $20,128.46
VILLAGE BISTRO INC (VILLAGE BISTRO) $19,614.13
YEE HWA INC (BISTRO BISTRO) $19,450.39
1615 RESTAURANT CORP (1615 RESTAURANT CORP) $14,485.28
MEMPHIS BAR-B-Q COMPANY INC (THE MEMPHIS BAR-B-Q COMPANY INC) $13,964.98
LA CASONA RESTAURANT INC (LA CABANA) $13,819.70
SNOZA SHAKEN LLC (SNOZA SHAKEN) $11,151.43
ALEX CALEB LLC (CAFE PARISIEN) $10,489.72
LUZMA CORP (TUTTO ITALIANO) $10,041.60