Written by MICHAEL LoCICERO
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 15:44
Regency Inn license issued, owner argues motel is treated unfairly
Faced with the possibility of not having its permit to operate renewed, the Regency Inn in Belgium has complied with all sales tax reporting as required, officials said.
At the Village Board meeting earlier this month, officials asked the Regency Inn owners to provide the last six months of sales tax information it submits to the state Department of Revenue or risk not having its license renewed on June 30.
Basant Kumar, who has owned the motel since 2000, is upset with the way some officials have treated her.
The latest issue stems from a discovery of a village ordinance that requires the Regency Inn and How-Dea Service Center to provide state Department of Revenue tax numbers along with its monthly village tax forms.
The village charges a 7% room tax.
“All of a sudden out of the blue they are asking for all this information, which I happily provided,” Kumar said.
Kumar said the village’s demands are the latest in what she calls “unfair treatment.”
“I just want to be treated with respect and I don’t feel like that is the case,” she said.
Kumar said she is current on her sales tax reporting and has complied with all village requests.
Not asking the motel to provide Department of Revenue information was oversight on the village’s part, President Rich Howells said.
“We just ran across this in our ordinance and we asked Mrs. Kumar to supply us with her last six months of forms that she sends to the state,” Howells said. “She did that and that’s why we’re renewing her permit to operate the hotel.”
Howells said his goal when he became president was to treat everybody in the village equally.
“We don’t care what your background is, where you came from, any of that,” Howells said. “There is no bias or Good Old Boy program in this village.
“It’s counterproductive for us to lose any business, so we’re working with her on making sure everything is in compliance.”
Kumar is also upset about paying the room tax each month.
“When I was first here, there was no room tax,” she said. “Then all of a sudden I’m losing 7% every month.”
Village Clerk Kaity Olsen said specific room tax numbers are confidential, but the village received $2,124.17 in room taxes last year. The state requires 70% of the tax to be spent on tourism.
Olsen said the money is used for ads in the Ozaukee County Tourism and Belgium Area Chamber of Commerce brochures.
The other 30% of the room tax goes into the village’s general budget fund.
Howells said he and Olsen are discussing amending the ordinance with Village Attorney Gerry Antoine.
“We’re in the process of reviewing the room tax ordinance from start to end and may do a few tweaks with it,” Howells said.