Minnesota Firm Paid No Taxes On Ky. Hotel

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) - A Minnesota firm that owned a western Kentucky hotel before it was auctioned in April failed to pay about $30,000 in hotel room taxes - an omission that has left a local government agency underfunded, and in financial trouble.

Minnesota/Owensboro Executive Inn LLC's failure to pay taxes on the Executive Inn Rivermont for three-and-a-half months has left the Owensboro-Daviess Convention & Visitors Bureau with a deficit. The agency has reduced staff and is considering other cost-cutting measures to cope with the loss of funds.

A room tax paid when people stay at a local hotel funds the visitors bureau. Part of room tax revenue is also used to pay debt service for capital projects at the RiverPark Center and the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.

Karen Miller, executive director of the visitors bureau, said the agency is unsure if it will ever receive the money. "It is one-third of our income, and we are taking a hit without that income coming in," Miller said.

Miller said the visitors bureau is considering reducing grants to support local festivals and arts events. Instead of grants, Miller said the organization may help market the festivals and events through the bureau's web page.

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