Papa Roux manager
Loyal fans of the restaurant also started an online effort to raise the needed money.
The goal was
The tax bill was more than
Funds donated through the online effort will go toward repaying the loan, the restaurant's owners said. Any remaining funds, as well as the owners' own contributions, will be donated to
"We knew that we had made an error in the taxes," owner
Tuesday afternoon, however, the restaurant owners said they were surprised to hear from the
"When a business taxpayer gets in arrears in sales tax and withholding tax, there comes a point, often after about 90 days, that if the business has not responded to a series of notifications, that we are forced to do something a little more drastic," Dittmer said. "That is to revoke the business' registered retail merchant certificate. Without that, they can no longer conduct retail sales or they are in violation of the law."
Bouvier said the restaurant's tax difficulties have posed a major strain on the cash flow needed each month to operate the business.
"The truth is when I come down to any decision on what gets paid and there's not any money, the first priority will always be my employees," Bouvier said. "I always make my payroll. If my employees don't get paid on time, they get evicted. The state operates on a little different kind of cycle. So I make no apologies for putting my employees ahead of (tax payments). Truth is, I pay my employees even when I can't pay myself."
Prior to last week, the operators of the restaurant were working with state officials to catch up with payments that hadn't been made in 2012, Bouvier said. A slowdown in business in the
Bouvier said state officials told him and his wife last week they needed to pay in full, and as of Monday afternoon, they thought they had.
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