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Paul’s Monterey Inn working to resolve back taxes

paulsALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — An unpaid tax bill could keep a long-standing Albuquerque restaurant from serving customers – at least temporarily.

The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department is asking a judge to stop Paul’s Monterey Inn from doing business until the steakhouse gets up to date on its taxes, according to an injunction application filed last week in state District Court.

Paul’s has an outstanding liability of $40,802, according to the court documents. The restaurant hasn’t filed gross-receipts and withholding taxes for October and November 2013 or filed workers’ compensation for the quarter of September 2013, the filing states.

In a letter dated Dec. 12, 2013, the tax department demanded Paul’s pay $60,101 to cover taxes due or expected to become due.

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“The taxpayer has not furnished security for payment of tax and has refused or failed to pay all of the tax amounts owing,” the filing states.

Owner Eric Larson could not be reached for comment Monday, but bar manager Jennifer McCarty said he is aware of the situation and actively working to resolve it.

“Eric has been speaking with his financial advisers, and he has the ball rolling on this,” McCarty said.

She said the goal is to keep the restaurant – now more than 40 years old – open without any service interruptions.

“We want everyone to know we appreciate their support and continued support, and we are working very hard to stay open,” she said.

Paul’s Monterey Inn, located at 1000 Juan Tabo NE, opened in 1971 and has become something of an Albuquerque icon.

Speculation has abounded in recent months that it was closing, but Larson told the Journal last August that there was no truth to the talk.

“That is just a rumor. That’s not true,” he said last summer. “I’ve been real sick and been through some hard times here, but we’re not closing.”

Larson did acknowledge that business had fallen off but said the restaurant – known in part for its 1970s decor – was able to stay afloat.

“It’s doing better than most people around town as far as independent restaurants, but it’s sure not what it was a few years ago,” he said at the time.

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