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Company faces suit over taxes

The Jefferson County sheriff has filed a suit against Imation Enterprises, alleging it owes more than $600,000 in taxes.

The Jefferson County sheriff has filed a suit against Imation Enterprises, alleging it owes more than $600,000 in taxes.

August 30, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober has filed suit against the former owner of the Spectratech plant in Middleway, alleging the company has failed to pay the county more than $600,000 in personal property taxes, said court records.

The lawsuit against Imation Enterprises Corp. involves an assessment of the company's personal property conducted in July 1998, according to court records.

The taxes which Imation owed, which have been delinquent since April 1, 2000, were originally $530,111, according to allegations in a suit that Boober filed against the company in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

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Because the tax bill carries a 9 percent interest rate, the tax bill had risen to $653,372 when the lawsuit was filed Aug. 12, according to the suit.

Printing plates for the printing industry are made at the plant.

In March 1999, Imation sold the plant to Spectratech, which employs about 37 people at the Middleway location.

For 35 years, the plant was operated by 3M, which manufactured printing plates and photographic chemicals at the site.

On May 10, Boober said he sent a letter to Imation in care of Spectratech, informing the companies about the delinquent taxes.

Edward Casson, chief executive officer of Spectratech, wrote Boober back on May 24 informing Boober that the letter should have been sent to Imation.

Spectratech was not responsible for the taxes because they relate to property assessments that were conducted while Imation owned the plant, Casson said in his letter.

"We feel (no) responsibility whatsoever," Casson said Thursday.

Imation officials could not be reached for comment.

Jennifer Tenenbaum, senior counsel and assistant secretary for Imation, wrote Boober June 19 informing him that she believed the taxes are Spectratech's responsibility.

Boober said he was not as concerned about any payment arrangements that may have been made as much as he is about collecting the money.

"That's a significant amount of money," he said.

One of the duties of the sheriff is to collect taxes for cities, the county and the Jefferson County Board of Education.

Boober said about five other companies in the county owe about $35,836 in delinquent taxes, and county officials are considering filing suit to recover those taxes.

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