Shawn picked up on a Lowell Sun story that many Massachusetts restaurants are falling behind in paying meals taxes to the Department of Revenue. In all, the state is owed $91.5 million in meals taxes!
Selectman Bob Cox, who owns Coyle's Tavern, was one of those restaurants. He told the Sun that he was behind in his taxes by as much as $57,000:
Dracut Selectman Robert Cox, who owns Coyle's Roadhouse Tavern on Broadway Road, admits his business has suffered dramatically over the past year, causing him to fall behind in meals-tax payments to the state. At one point, he owed $57,225 in meal-tax payments, including interest and penalties.
Cox said he has worked out a payment plan with the DOR and Coyle's was recently taken off the DOR list, indicating that his debt has been paid off. But business remains difficult.
Cox, who bought the tavern with his wife, Leslie, seven years ago, said things began looking bad about a year ago. Business slowed during the summer, the recession hit, and road construction rerouted traffic away from Coyle's.
"It was like a snowball going down a hill," said Cox.