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Mayor’s parking firm fixes city tax error

CANNON_ELEX_DAY_08
DAVID T. FOSTER III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon’s parking management company, E-Z Parking, has now correctly filed paperwork for its city business taxes and has paid less than $80 in back taxes, according to the firm.

Rules for the Business Privilege License tax in Charlotte require that parking management companies have a license on each lot or deck that they manage.

E-Z Parking, which manages 21 decks or lots, had only three Business Privilege Licenses this year. For several years, the company had mistakenly thought that it only needed the licenses on decks or lots where it had an office.

But after the Observer asked about the company’s business taxes, Cannon and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Feemster said E-Z Parking had paid the taxes on all of its revenue, so the mix-up was only a question of improper paperwork rather than owing money.

The county’s tax director, Neal Dixon, told the Observer in an email that the company had been “forthcoming” during a review of its revenues and compliance with the Business Privilege License tax.

He said the company’s business taxes are now “up to date.”

The amount of taxes a company pays is not public record.

Feemster’s accountant told the Observer that the company owed $78.23. That was for $15.73 for parking at 600 W. Sixth St. and $62.50 for a lot at 1445 S. Mint St.

Since the company was founded in 1998, Cannon said Thursday, the company has always paid taxes on all of its revenue.

A parking management company has to pay 60 cents for each $1,000 of revenue a lot or deck generates. The minimum is $50 annually on each deck or lot that it manages.

The Business Privilege License tax applies to all businesses operating inside the city, from restaurants to parking lot companies to big businesses.

In an interview with the Observer, Dixon said it’s not uncommon for a business to be confused as to how it needs to file its licenses. Some businesses don’t have licenses for each location.

When a problem is seen, a business is asked to correct the problem, he said. If the business doesn’t owe any money, there is no penalty, Dixon said.

Harrison: 704-358-5160
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