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September 2014

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Delafield Hotel $50k overdue on city taxes

City of Delafield - The Delafield Hotel has agreed to pay the city more than $50,000 in delinquent hotel taxes and interest after several phones call to a co-owner by City Administrator Tim Scheunke and an investigation by city police.

Schuenke said he turned the matter over to police because City Attorney Jim Hammes advised him that the hotel's failure to pay the taxes amounted to theft and was a crime.

The hotel owed the city $21,000 in hotel taxes for the second quarter of 2011 and $27,000 for third-quarter taxes due on Oct. 31.

Schuenke said he attempted several times to reach Scott Rookus, a co-owner of the hotel who lives in Michigan, when the second-quarter payment was due, and subsequently turned the matter over to city police.

According to police records, Rookus told police officers he purchased the hotel on a land contract from Delafield developer Bob Lang. Rookus said he was having difficulty obtaining a line of credit because of the nature of the sales contract and was having difficulty paying bills.

Shuenke said the hotel paid the second-quarter taxes plus about $700 in interest on Nov. 7 and agreed to pay the third-quarter taxes by Nov. 30.

By state law, the hotel is required to pay the city an 8-percent tax on rooms leased. According to city officials, about 25 percent of the revenues collected through the hotel room tax is distributed to the city Tourism Council for promoting city tourism.

The remaining 75 percent is allocated to the city's general operation fund.

Efforts to reach IDM Group of Fort Atkinson for comment were unsuccessful. IDM is the firm that manages the hotel.

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