Web site will identify tax-delinquent firms, convention center chief says

Restaurants, hotels and motels that fail to pay their respective city taxes won’t be able to conceal their delinquencies in the near future, Pine Bluff Convention Center Executive Director Bob Purvis said Wednesday.

Purvis gave an update at a joint meeting of the advertising and tourism promotion and civic auditorium complex commissions. The convention center receives some funding from the tax revenue.

Purvis told attendees that those firms that simply disregard their responsibilities in paying the hotel and hamburger taxes which they collect from customers will be recognizable by the public once a new computer program is initiated.

He cited a restaurant as an example of businesses ignoring their responsibilities in supporting the city by failing to remit taxes. He said he had informed the restaurant about its delinquency, but the business hasn’t responded to his request for the name of a person he can directly speak with on the matter. He said the restaurant’s failure makes him wonder if the business simply doesn’t care about supporting its customers with the tax monies it charges them.

The new web site will allow the public an opportunity to check for itself on which businesses are current and how much tax money they’ve turned over to the city.

To combat such delinquencies in the future, Purvis said he wants to look into the possibilities of including tax-payment stipulations as occupation license requirements. Purvis said he would be considering “other steps” as well.

Pine Bluff Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Greg Gustek reported on recent and upcoming events within the city.

Gustek noted that arrangements for the 16th year of the Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends holiday lighting display in Regional Park will get underway Oct. 1. The event’s Nov. 20 opening will be televised on KATV Channel 7.