Oct 28, 2018
Dear Natchitoches Taxpayer:
Upon reading Chateau St Denis responds to Sharplin, I feel it necessary to respond to Warren Reuther, the owner of the Chateau St. Denis Hotel. First, I stand by everything revealed in the letter Dear Natchitoches Taxpayer dated October 15, 2018.
I am pleased to read Chateau St Denis ownership will be paying taxes owed from July 1, 2018 to present. Luckily for the Natchitoches Taxpayer, this failure to collect taxes was exposed and now the Chateau St Denis property management system has been corrected. If not brought to light, this “computer glitch” would have cost our city and CVB thousands of tax dollars over time.
In the letter Chateau St. Denis responds to Sharplin, Reuther proclaims the Chateau St Denis Hotel “has the desire of being a good neighbor and member the of business community.” Mr. Reuther, you want to be a good neighbor? I have a few suggestions…Start by paying the back taxes. Second, drop the resort/value-add fee at Chateau St Denis. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand, a resort/value-add fee annoys guests. For the reader who doesn’t know what a resort fee is, here you go: Why-do-hotels-charge-resort-fees.
In Chateau St. Denis responds to Sharplin, Mr. Reuther is quoted, “Willful and intentional underpayment of taxes is not what happened here. As far as the upcoming opinion from the Louisiana Attorney General, we welcome the opportunity to address with him and the CVB the multiple sales tax audits where this fee was ruled non-taxable. In addition, the Natchitoches Parish Tax Administrator ruled that this tax was prospective in nature; therefore, there are no other monies owed by the Chateau St. Denis Hotel.”
I disagree with Reuther’s statement. Monies are owed by the Chateau St Denis hotel… and according to opinion 18-0098 from the Office of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, the AG disagrees with Mr. Reuther’s assertions as well. Please see the attached opinion.
I commend the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau for asking the tough questions that some were not willing to ask in our community. The AG’s opinion validates the CVB asking for the collections that we as hoteliers are all required to collect. This is Natchitoches; Not New Orleans.
I, like most, just want a fair playing field for all businesses in our community. Natchitoches will never attract serious industry if the perception, and hopefully not reality, that some businesses are getting preferential treatment from local government officials.
Residents of Natchitoches, now is time to watch with vigilance on how aggressive local government leadership will pursue this much needed revenue for our cash strapped city/parish. Others may be watching as well…
Thank you my friends,
Sharpco Hotels Group
READ THE AG OPINION HERE -> AG Opinion Letter 10-22-18