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Arizona RV Park Embroiled in State Tax Dispute

December 14, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

A 2008 Arizona State Land Department audit, which shows a north Phoenix RV resort underpaid the department by more $300,000, remains one of the sticking points in lease negotiations, the Arizona Republic reported.

The audit delayed a lease to operate Pioneer RV Resort at Pioneer Road and Interstate 17, according to State Land Department officials. The department is trying to renew a short-term lease for Roles Inn of America Inc., which manages the property.

The Roles Inn had renewed a 10-year lease with the state since 1987. But the company and the State Land Department can’t agree on lease terms and have opted for a month-to-month deal since June 2007.

Vanessa Hickman, deputy state land commissioner, said the state continues to work with Roles Inn on a lease. Roles Inn has not disputed that it underpaid the department by more than $300,000, Hickman said.

State Land Department officials have asked the company to address how it plans to phase out the RV park operation by 2013. State officials, who would like to change the use plan by 2017 for the property, say they have not heard from the management firm. but it said it turned over a phase-out plan proposal to the state in July.

Hickman said while the firm already paid more than the amount, it is disputing a portion of it in court. The case is pending in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Carole V. Bartholomeaux, a spokesperson for the RV resort, said Roles Inn owners don’t dispute they owe the state a portion of the funds. At issue is money that comes from the sale of a trailer by a tenant, Bartholomeaux said.

A tenant, for example, sells a $10,000 trailer, on which he owes $9,000 to a bank, to a second individual. The seller clears $1,000.

The state is saying Roles Inn owes taxes on the $10,000 and not the $1,000 that is cleared, Bartholomeaux said.

“The Roles Inn asserts that this is not income because Roles did not earn or retain it and that the state is not entitled to a percentage of those amounts under the lease,” she said.

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