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Developer brothers settle back tax lawsuit

By Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – The owners of one of the newest hotels in St. Louis have settled a lawsuit over back taxes.

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission filed suit Thursday against Mike and Steve Roberts and their development company, which owns the Hotel Indigo in the Central West End, seeking the payment of $25,000 in room tax. The CVC's chief marketing officer, Brian Hall, said he believed the brothers had not collected the tax, which is charged to hotel guests and helps fund the CVC, since Indigo opened in 2009.

The failure to collect and transmit the tax was a mistake, said Mike Roberts. He and his brother believed the tax only applied to downtown hotels that benefit from the convention business. The brothers never saw communication the CVC sent about the year's worth of back taxes, Roberts said, blaming it on former general managers at the hotel.

The CVC often files lawsuits for back taxes, said Hall, even if it's not for large amounts of money.

"In the grand scheme of things considering our total budget it's a modest amount of money, but nonetheless it's a very important amount of money especially in these difficult economic time periods that we find ourselves in," Hall said, adding that most, like the Hotel Indigo suit, are settled.


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