The owner of a gas station in Heflin that Cleburne County officials say is $34,000 behind on sales tax said Wednesday he’d arranged a plan to pay up.
The county’s administrator, meanwhile, said that plan hadn’t been accepted.
Mohammed Haque, who owns the Chevron-branded gas station south of Interstate 20 at Exit 205, said by phone that he’d agreed to an arrangement that would see him pay the $34,612 to Revenue Discovery Systems over time. Cleburne County contracts with the Montgomery-based company for tax collection, as do nearly 300 other Alabama counties and cities.
Haque said Wednesday that the tax had gone unpaid because he felt the company had tried to collect taxes on sales he hadn’t made.
“The amount is way more than it should be,” Haque said of the sales taxes sought.
Cleburne County’s commissioners have considered the tax issue publicly at least twice, naming Haque and discussing ways to collect from his business during a work session this week. Commissioners indicated approval of an ultimatum: Either Haque must pay the amount RDS says has been withheld or he will lose his business license.
County Administrator Steve Swafford said Wednesday Haque had been given a letter the same day ordering he pay in full before close of business on Feb. 13.
Swafford said no payment plan proposal had been accepted by the county, as the taxes should’ve already been paid.
“Until the money is deposited into the account, nothing is good,” Swafford said.
The administrator said he had “no question as to the quality and accuracy” of Revenue Discovery Systems’ efforts to collect taxes from Haque’s business.
Haque, meanwhile, said he’s not interested in fighting.
“We’ll get it resolved, one way or the other,” the businessman said.
Haque has sought to resolve the same sales tax issue with the city of Heflin, that city’s clerk, Shane Smith, said Thursday.
“He’s paid what we requested so far,” Smith said, though he declined to discuss that amount. Smith said Haque was “working with the city of Heflin and with RDS to ensure that payment is made in a timely manner.”
Staff Writer Zach Tyler: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @ZTyler_Star.