Woman fails to appear on tax charges

Published 9:59 pm Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A former Suffolk business owner charged with failure to pay meals taxes failed to appear for a scheduled court date on Tuesday.

Sharon Hensley-Tarr, the owner of the now-defunct Oysterette Restaurant on North Main Street, was charged in July with six counts of failure to pay meals tax.

When she was initially charged, Hensley-Tarr owed just under $5,000 to the city for taxes from August 2010 through January 2011.

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When restaurant owners serve food and drinks, they collect a 6.5-percent tax from customers and are expected to turn the money over to the city by the 20th of the next month.

In August, Hensley-Tarr went to court and was given three months to pay off the taxes. Had she done so, she would not have had to appear Tuesday.

But representatives for the city attorney’s and treasurer’s offices said in court on Tuesday that she had not paid the taxes that are in arrears.

A General District Court judge ordered her arrest for failure to appear. City spokeswoman Debbie George said late Tuesday afternoon that Suffolk police had not yet received a warrant from the courthouse, so it had not been served.

Attempts to contact Hensley-Tarr at her separate Oysterette restaurant in Chesapeake were unsuccessful.