Capitol Hill’s Neighbours fighting Olympia over thousands in back taxes

One of those unnamed Seattle nightclubs in the Stranger’s story about troubles with the “dance tax” is now named. And Neighbours says it is prepared to duke it out with the state tax man:

Attorneys for Neighbours Nightclub—a dance club and gay institution on Capitol Hill—are going on the record to say they have found at least 25 other music venues in the Seattle area recently hit with an “opportunity to dance” tax by the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR). Mark Kimball of MDK Law Associates says Neighbours is preparing to fight the DOR’s “bald-face money grab” and contest the club’s new tax bill by taking the DOR to court.

“We hope to bar [the DOR] from taxing clubs such as Neighbours in the way they’re doing now,” says Kimball. He says Neighbours currently owes a “six-figure-plus amount,” but hastens to add that paying it “won’t put the club out of business—unlike many others.” Kimball anticipates filing a lawsuit in King County or Thurston County within the next six months.

In the meantime, new clubs Q and The Social are soon to open. Note to the new guys: You might want to watch how this one plays out as you’re planning your tax strategy.


8 thoughts on “Capitol Hill’s Neighbours fighting Olympia over thousands in back taxes

  1. The taxpayer will first have to determine which type of tax settlement they would like to apply for and then submit the appropriate forms to the IRS for review before making a decision. A taxpayer can either fill out the information themselves or they can have a designated tax professional make the filing on their behalf. Highly Recommend “Free Tax Settlement” for this problem.

  2. Well good luck, but, the strategy is backward.

    If, and it is sure to come out, other clubs have been paying the tax, then, the non payers are in big trouble.

    And in truth, back is less important than future. State revenue with a positive ruling has a new stream they will collect from EVERYBODY in sight going forward. A big win for the coffers of revenue of of a party tax.

    A law suit gives settlement offers room to play in a binding setting, accepted by a judge from the parties …. good strategy for the back stuff. Courts, by the way, protect govt. in most cases …

    Ref: Mr. Tax — nothing to do with the feds, State of Washington Revenue only, not even city or county. Just the Washington state Dept. of Revenue. They collect a lot of taxes, gas, cigs, liquor taxes imposed by the state, sales and B and O — and more — for example.

  3. Just for clarification, Neighbours may be a gay-themed club, but definitely not gay owned and operated. Last I heard (and saw), it was owned by foreign emigres from the Mid East and/or North Africa. Maybe that’s changed recently. Not to sound at all prejudiced towards foreigners who own businesses, but it’s often times they, through unfamiliarity or complete disregard, run afoul of the State’s tax laws.

  4. Maybe they should just do the neighborly thing and pay their damn taxes. It kills me that with all the revenue short fall, businesses are trying to turn their avoiding taxes into some sort of community issue. The issue is that business is not paying their share.

  5. Agree Jim. The article did point out Neighbours, referring to it as a gay institution. Not sure if it meets that criteria exactly. Kinda weird this rule, “opportunity to dance”. Shit, if I get up and boogie at Piecora’s to the music they crank there, poor Richie is gonna get slapped with a bill.

  6. You could be right on Pay Up, but there seems to be a problem. This tax rule seems to have a lot of grey area and is vague. What exactly does an “opportunity to dance” illustrate? The Comet has music but discourages people from dancing, as in say,couples dancing. But people bee-bop up and down or just shake to the beat, by law, are they dancing?
    IF Neumo’s, Chop Suey, or the Century Ballroom aren’t in any arrears because of this, then maybe it is clear and you’re right then.
    What’s been published here so far isn’t enough to make that distinction.

  7. How is expecting them to pay their taxes being “picked on?”

    I bet you’d be singing a different tune if you found out the Seahawks or Mariners weren’t paying their taxes.

    Some people in this town have such a warped view of things.