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And the hits keep on comin’

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Photo by Dennis Allyn
Agents with the Office of the Texas State Comptroller seized personal property still on-site at the Longhorn Saloon.

On Monday, May 23, agents with the Office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts seized personal property belonging to Brian Black, former owner of the Longhorn Saloon and the Medina River Company, located at 1307 Main Street.
However, one item removed from the property prior to the arrival of the agents was a large tour bus.
“Basically, we seized anything we might possibly sell at a public auction to recoup as much of the unpaid tax money as we can,” said Kevin Lyons, communications director for the Texas State Comptroller.
And, according to officials with the State of Texas, unpaid taxes are prodigious. Black allegedly owes $673 in sales taxes; $6,400 in mixed beverage sales taxes and a whopping $585,570 in mixed beverage gross receipts.
“The total for the mixed beverage gross receipts was the result of two separate audits – from March 2007 to April 2009 and from December 2009 through July 2013,” Lyons explained.
Although not specific, he said the audits might have resulted from a random comparison of gross receipts from earlier periods or “… someone might have complained that sufficient taxes were not being turned in.” Until a complaint is filed, officials essentially rely on the honesty of business owners to remit correct tax returns monthly.
In January of this year, Bandera County officials seized and closed the Longhorn Saloon due to unpaid taxes. However, less than 24 hours after the buildings were padlocked, Bandera Tax Assessor-Collector Gwenda Tshirhart, PCC, received a certified cashiers check for $9,551. “The back taxes and fees were paid in full on both businesses, including the furniture, fixtures, equipment and inventory,” she said.
Additionally, the popular watering hole was sold in a foreclosure auction on May 3. At that time, Ohio residents Tim and Pam Tucker offered $425,000 for the property. According to the couple’s attorney, Bruce Neyland, Tim Tucker had advanced Black funds to purchase the property several years ago.
In a telephone interview, Neyland explained that his client “had held the first lien position on the purchase money lien.” According Gwenda Tshirhart, PCC, a little more than $84,000 in taxes is still owned on the property to county taxing entities.
Currently, the choice property with frontage on the Medina River is for sale. To forestall confusion, potential purchasers are asked to contact the “new owner, Tim Tucker” for more information.
For his part, Lyons said that personnel with the comptroller’s office, “… will continue to work with Mr. Black to collect back taxes owed to the State of Texas.”