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State files for jewelry business' tax debt

June 08, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

The state has filed a judgment against Hagerstown City Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein in an attempt to collect more than $4,400 in taxes, interest and penalties it says the now defunct corporation Saum's Credit Jewelers owes.

The judgment filed in Washington County Circuit Court alleges that Saum-Wicklein owes $4,426.61 in taxes, interest and penalties on state income taxes that were withheld from employee's paychecks in 1997 and 1998, but the money was not paid to the state.

Suam-Wicklein could not be reached for comment Thursday. A message was left for her at her downtown business, but the woman who answered the phone there said Saum-Wicklein was out of town.

In 1998, Saum-Wicklein closed the 100-year-old family business, Saum's Credit Jewelers, and reopened the downtown Hagerstown store under the name Jeweler's Daughter.

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A subsequent sale of the business' assets raised enough money to pay about two-thirds of the back taxes, but left other creditors with nothing, according to court records.

The closed company still owes the state $9,646.64 in withholding taxes, according to court records. The $4,426.61 judgment against Saum-Wicklein is part of that total.

Saum-Wicklein was deemed the "responsible fiscal officer" for the company for 1997 and 1998, so the state is going after her for the unpaid taxes for those two years, said Linda Tanton, director of the compliance division in the state comptroller's office.

Tanton said the judgment against Saum-Wicklein, "enables us to take other action" to collect the money.

Collection methods can include garnishing wages, withholding tax refunds and attaching bank accounts, said Tanton, who declined to say what if anything her office was doing to collect from Saum-Wicklein.

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