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DATE News (chronologically)
11/22/11
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Maryland Threatens To Seize Assets Of Baltimore Grand Prix Operator  The state has threatened to seize assets of the company that runs the Baltimore Grand Prix to recover nearly $600,000 in unpaid taxes, the Maryland Comptroller's Office said Monday.

"We don't want to take anybody's business," said Caron Brace, a spokeswoman for Comptroller Peter Franchot. "We just want to get what we're owed."

Baltimore Racing Development Inc., the Grand Prix operator, is more than a month delinquent on $567,594.19 in admissions and amusement taxes, and $23,838.06 in sales and use taxes, Brace said. The comptroller's office filed a lien in Baltimore Circuit Court on any property that the company owns, she said.

Ryan O'Doherty, a spokesman for Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, said the comptroller's office is responsible for collecting the admissions and amusement taxes owed to the city. The sales and use taxes are owed to the state.

Jay Davidson, the former chief executive of Baltimore Racing Development and an investor in the company, said he thought that "escrowed ticket money" would be used to pay the taxes. "I'm not sure why it hasn't been paid to this point," he said.

Baltimore City Councilman William H. Cole IV, an ardent supporter of the Grand Prix, called the situation — the latest development in the company's financial troubles — "frustrating."

"There's not much choice in the matter," he said of filing the lien. "The government has to take seriously their debts to the taxpayers and their business partners."

Meanwhile, Davidson, who remains an employee of the company, said it is "very close" to hiring Felix J. Dawson, a former Constellation Energy Group executive, as the new CEO. Davidson said the company is finalizing a contract with Dawson. Baltimore Sun

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