Lawsuit: Closed hotel owes bed tax

WARREN – Trumbull County commissioners intend to take the owners of the now-closed Rodeway Inn in Liberty to court for unpaid ”bed taxes.”

However, it’s unknown just how much is due because Girard-based Aswin Ganapathy Hospitality Associates LLC has not for months filed returns with the county Treasurer’s Office, which collects and disperses the proceeds of the tax on hotels and motels.

”Part of what we are asking for is an accounting of how many people came through there,” said Lynn Griffith III, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

Commissioners on Wednesday gave the prosecutor’s office permission to move on the lawsuit, which Griffith said should be filed this week in Common Pleas Court.

”Under the Ohio sales tax statutes … there can be liability not only on the hotel, but on the principals who were responsible to file the returns to pay the tax,” said Griffith. ”We will be looking toward not only the LLC that operated out of there, but its principals, which is significant because there is probably a good chance that the LLC has no assets.”

Treasurer Sam Lamancusa said the hotel operators were sent a letter in January giving them until Jan. 15 to pay up or face a possible lawsuit.

”The whole purpose of us going after them … they haven’t met the criteria of the program. The criteria of the program is you report to us and pay us against the report,” said Lamancusa.

It’s believed the issues go back to early 2013.

A number that is listed for the corporation was out of service.

Bed taxes are paid monthly and divided between the Western Reserve Port Authority and Trumbull County Tourism Bureau.

In March, the owner closed the hotel, the former Metroplex, and evicted some of the employees and family staying there after giving up her operating license to the Ohio Department of Commerce. A fire there was given as the reason why the owner closed.