BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - John Delgado, a former metro council member, reportedly owes about $30,000 in back taxes for his three bars on 3rd St., The Business Reports says.
Delgado owns Draft House Bar, Huey's Bar, and 1913. The Business Report says Delgado has confirmed that he's behind on his city-parish sales taxes, but he says he'll be able to pay it all off by the end of the year.
If Delgado fails to pay off this debt, he could lose his liquor license for his bars. Delgado is one of nine bar and restaurant owners that is set to appear at a hearing this week before the East Baton Rouge Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABC).
The Business Report says Delgado has also confirmed he's behind on his state sales taxes, but the state offers a monthly payment plan, which he is utilizing.
"The city doesn't have that option. If they had a payment plan, we'd be on it and we'd be paying," said Delgado.
Delgado suggests that slow sales over the summer and over-saturation in the bar/restaurant scene has caused the delinquency, most of which he says is interest and penalties. "I think it's a matter of proliferation. You've had a lot of new options pop up. But Third St. is definitely slow," said Delgado.
The Business Report says Delgado did not specify whether the decrease in business is also affecting his ability to pay rent on his properties, but he did say he is in talks with the owners of 421 3rd St., which is where Draft House Bar is located. "We are in the process of discussing whether we stay in that location with the landlord. But that is an ongoing business discussion and not something I want to comment on right now," said Delgado.
The hearing with ABC, which is scheduled for Thursday, September 28, is a continuation of a preliminary hearing that was started in August. At that initial hearing, almost 60 bars appeared before the agency. However, since then, all but 12 bars, including Delgado's, have paid their owed taxes.
The Business Report says at Thursday's hearing, the ABC could revoke Delgado's liquor license or allow him to have until the end of the year to pay the taxes owed. Delgado says he's confident his liquor license won't be revoked, but if it is, "We'd get a loan to pay the back taxes."