LUBBOCK, TX -- Authorities believe the owner of the Villa Town Motel on Avenue Q has been withholding tax money from the city.
According to a petition filed earlier this month, Villa Town owes the city more than $126,000 in back taxes. Specifically, hotel occupancy taxes, which are a percentage of revenue taken from every individual stay. City ordinance says that every hotel and motel in town must give the city seven percent of what they make from every guest. So for Villa Town, whose normal rate is $30 a night, that's a little more than $2 per stay. But, court records don't say how long Villa Town has been holding out on the money, just that the city is suing for more than $126,000, plus penalties.
A quick search shows that this isn't Villa Town's first run in with trouble. In the past few years, they've dealt with fires, shootings, and a bed bug outbreak.
Rob Meyer, a member of Lubbock's Hotel and Motel Association, says it's crucial for the city to get this tax revenue back. That's because all revenue from the hotel occupancy tax goes into a fund to promote tourism for Lubbock.
"If we can bring more people to our city that are not from our city, and get them to spend money, we can create a bigger economy based on someone else's dollar," Meyer explains. "It's always better to bring outside money in, and keep that money within your city, as long as you possibly can."
At this time, the owner of Villa Town has not been reachable for any sort of comment. Court record shows she currently lives in Oxnard, California.