Tribunal confirms hotel owner stuck with gaming machine bill

THE owner of a Lismore hotel has failed to dodge gaming machine taxes despite not being the licence holder during the billing period.

Just weeks after kicking out their tenants over unpaid rent, Tommy's Tavern owner A J Holdings took back control of the pub and, almost immediately, a tax bill arrived.

Though the bill wasn't issued until January 16, the company claimed it was not liable to pay as the tax period ended in December 2011.

According to the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (CCSR), however, the tax only became payable on January 23, meaning it was up to A J Holdings to fork out the funds.

When A J Holdings first refused to pay, the objection was allowed but the CCSR overturned the decision in May last year.

The battle continued in the Administrative Decisions Tribunal this week which heard A J Holdings had leased the hotel from 2007 to November 2011.

By December 30, the locks had been changed and the owners re-opened on January 4.

The licence was not transferred back into the name of AJ Holdings until January 30.

The tribunal found, however, that according to NSW law, the quarterly instalment could not have been payable until January 16 as the amount owed was not known until that date.

The commissioner's orders were upheld.


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