Local businesses must pay taxes before serving alcohol

Published 9:52 am Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A number of businesses across the state — including three local ones — can’t sell newly-delivered alcoholic drinks until they take care of some unpaid taxes.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue recently began posting notices online of establishments that were more than 10 days late in taxes — with punishment being that they can’t buy and re-sell liquor, beer or wine from distributors until the taxes are cleared up.

There are about 180 businesses on the list that owe a combined $7.7 million to the state.

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Among those locally are Cheers of Waltham, Oaks Golf Course Bar and Grill in Hayfield and Jerry’s Other Place in Austin.

A call to Cheers was not returned Monday, and a manager at the golf course bar and grill was unavailable for comment.

Scott and Julie Johnson, owners at Jerry’s, said the delinquent payments would be cleared up by early next week, and the business would be off the list.

The two said a tough winter, combined with the fact they pay union wages to their staff, put them a little behind.

They stressed that they have not lost their liquor license and can still sell drinks that they had purchased previously.

When a business does pay its taxes in full, it is removed from the list within two business days, according to the revenue department.

And with the list going online for the first time in July, many businesses have paid up.

According to the department, 124 businesses cleared their debts in July, bringing in $2.5 million for the state.