Restaurant owner given three months to pay taxes

Published 6:30 pm Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sharon Hensley-Tarr has been given three months to pay in full meals taxes for a Suffolk restaurant she owned.

Hensley-Tarr, the former owner of the now-closed Oysterette on North Main Street, must pay $4,933.25 before the case returns to court on Nov. 15.

She was charged last month with five counts of failure to pay meals taxes.

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In court Thursday morning, she told the judge she had been trying to work with the city treasurer’s office to pay off the balance.

“I have the receipts showing where I was trying to work with him,” she said.

Meals taxes equal to 6.5 percent are paid by restaurant patrons at the same time that they pay for their food. The taxes collected each month are due by the 20th of the next month.

“That tax is supposed to go in escrow,” Judge Richard Levin, a substitute on the General District Court bench on Thursday, said to Hensley-Tarr. “That’s what you didn’t do.”

Hensley-Tarr declined to comment after the hearing.

Deputy treasurer Keith Ainsley said last month that his office had tried a number of options to attempt to get payment.

“I tried every way I could think of to resolve this without having to involve the court systems,” he said last month. “Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”