Four businesses that are no longer operating in Santa Monica owe more than $3.1 million combined in taxes to the state.
A former car dealership, two owners of the same restaurant space and an automotive service shop are considered delinquent by the state Board of Equalization even though they’re out of business.
The local companies are among the 500 businesses that owe the most money to California in unpaid taxes, according to the board’s recently released list. More than $455.2 million in outstanding payments has not been recovered from those businesses.
The state has published a quarterly list of delinquent businesses since 2007, removing ones that have paid or are handling matters through bankruptcy, litigation or appeal. The businesses are notified a month before their information is posted.
The state has collected about $16.7 million in taxes from more than 220 delinquent businesses since the inception of the program. Some executives enter into agreements in which they pay back the money in installments instead of all at once.
Business owners with outstanding tax payments are assessed a 10-percent late fee, according to Dan Elliott, a spokesman for the equalization board.
The agency also shares information about offenders with participating state groups, which could suspend or deny driving licenses and other certificates as a result of the delinquencies. For example, Elliott said, the equalization board could notify the State Bar of California if the delinquent owner of a former business has a permit to practice law.
The biggest local offender is Token Automotive Inc., which ran the Santa Monica Mitsubishi dealership and owes the state more than $1.26 million. The company was first notified of its debts in 2005, according to the state.
Mitsubishi’s business license with City Hall for its dealership at 1501 Santa Monica Blvd., expired in 2004. The address is now home to a Lexus dealership. The Japanese automaker closed its Pico Boulevard repair shop around January 2007, according to Daily Press archives.
Two previous owners of restaurants at 1610 Montana Ave., are also on the hook for back taxes to the state.
17th Street Cafe Inc., is responsible for more than $815,000, figures show. The state issued its first lien in 2009 to the principal of the company, whose identity was not immediately available.
Around the same time, Lenny Rosenberg’s ownership group acquired the eatery and transformed it into 17th Street Cafe and Bakery before passing it off to Todd Welker about two years later.
In 2013 the state began seeking money, now totaling more than $568,000, from Beverly Bagels Inc., a name that Rosenberg’s group had previously sold to Welker. Attempts to reach Welker were not successful.
The original owner of the restaurant, Jack Srebnik, bought it back around 2013 and changed the name to Jack’s on Montana. His second stint was short-lived; Forma, an Italian restaurant and cheese bar, currently occupies the space at 1610 Montana Ave.
The owners of California Auto Express owe more than $502,000 in taxes to the state, according to the list. Officials have been seeking money from the shop, which operated at 1918 Lincoln Blvd., since 2006.
Multiple attempts to reach Payman Peter Ahoubim, a principal associated with the shuttered business, were not successful.