Firehouse case continued

Published 10:58 pm Thursday, October 30, 2014

A sub shop franchise owner has worked out an agreement with the city to pay off what he owes in meals taxes by April of next year.

The city filed criminal proceedings against John King, owner of the Firehouse Subs franchises on North Main Street and in Harbour View, back in July.

At the time, King was behind about $104,000 for both locations from May 2013, according to Andrew Tasch, compliance manager in the city treasurer’s office.

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Since then, Treasurer Ron Williams said Thursday, the taxes have continued to grow delinquent and the amount due has swelled to about $142,000.

Suffolk restaurateurs are required to charge a 6.5-percent tax on food and drinks served in their establishments. They hold that tax until the 20th of every month, when they are required to pay the amount due from the prior month.

But, Williams has said, restaurant owners sometimes fall into the habit of using the money to operate the store and get behind on paying the city.

Williams said King recently paid $50,000 on the bill to bring the amount due down to approximately $92,000. The treasurer’s office agreed to continue the case for six months with the understanding that current months’ taxes would be paid on a timely basis and that the remaining balance due would be paid by April 2015.

“They’ve still been accruing delinquencies,” Williams said. “That’s why we addressed that as part of this case. That had to stop.”

Williams said Judge Alfred W. Bates III reviewed the agreement.

Thursday was the third time King’s arraignment has been continued.

In July, Pam King, a co-owner of the franchises, said 2013 had been a difficult year for the business and that the Kings were prioritizing their employees throughout the process.