The Knox County Clerk’s Office has collected between $175,000 and $180,000 in outstanding taxes from local hotels and motels, Clerk Foster Arnett told local leaders Monday.
At issue was some $476,000 in occupancy taxes that businesses owed from the past two fiscal years. Arnett has come under fire in recent months as county officials say his office failed to go after the money and failed to notify them that the debt existed.
In mid-August, he told the county’s Audit Committee that he’d begun sending letters to hotel and motel tax scofflaws in an effort to go after the money.
The meeting followed an internal report that says at least a dozen of the businesses owe the county almost half a million dollars, and that four hotels alone could owe an additional $225,000 for period that weren’t included in the audit.
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