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June 25, 2013 - 11:30am

Molasses Hill closed, seized by state

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, business, Molasses Hill Bulk Foods.

Molasses Hill Bulk Foods on Ellicott Street, Batavia, is closed after the store was seized by an agent of NYS Taxation and Finance this morning.

Neal Harder, husband of owner Shannon Harder, said he and his wife are trying to negotiate with Taxation and Finance to be able to reopen today with an agreement to pay taxes owed by July 15.

He said he felt the sudden closure was the result of a disagreement between his wife and the agent.

carl hyde
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Another strong arm tactic by an overbearing gov. dept. They could of made a deal but force is chicken shit move because the gov. is broke from the billions of dollars they sent to the middle east to provide guns to our countries enemies to fight there gov..

tom hunt
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They send millions of tax payers dollar in refunds to illegal aliens with iTIN numbers claiming hundreds of dependents without batting an eyelash but strong arm a legal law abiding citizen who is trying to make a living in this difficult economy.

Robert Brown
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I find it ironic to see a smiling (possibly laughing) police officer with a "tradition of service" logo on his car front and center in the photo above.

Mike Piazza
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This is strictly an opinion of where our country is heading towards...... a semi-quasi police state. With the hiring of an additional 16,000 IRS agents(Fed level for enforcing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obama Care and along with the 2,000 additional NYS tax agents that were hired about 2 years ago, and the "restrictions" on gun ownership, can you see where this is going? Or am I being paranoid? I truly believe that the gov't wants people to fail so they can own and control businesses and force people to rely on them(i.e. the govt).

tim raines
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Disagreement between the wife and the agent?

Middle East? Guns to foreign countries? Illegal aliens? Gun ownership? Police state?

The business collected sales taxes for months and didn't forward it to NY State.

Mark Taggett
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Thank you Tim. I was just going to say the same thing "Blah, blah, blah". If they had paid their taxes, they would not have had to negotiate with any agent. They have been playing games with payroll for months and blaming it on their accountant & payroll service. It's too bad. What once was a thriving business now has several teenagers out of part time employment.

Mike Piazza
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This post is in reply to Tim & MT's post regarding "if they just paid their taxes blah blah blah" Well you know what, maybe they did collect their taxes but could have used (the tax money)it to pay vendors, or maybe something in their store might have needed to be replaced(possibly a very high expenditure). What if their sales failed to meet their break-even point(very possible in a down economy)and used the tax money to keep the business afloat trying to sweat out a weak economic recovery.

Beth Kinsley
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Well - that would all be illegal Mike. It's one thing to not pay your income taxes because you are having financial difficulties but if they actually collected sales tax and did not remit it to NYS, that's a different story. Collected sales tax is not to be used to pay vendors, replace broken equipment, etc.

Disclaimer - I have no clue if they did or did not remit the collected sales tax. I'm just replying to the comments above. I hope they are able to work something out to stay in business.

tim raines
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Mr Piazza.....
Sales tax money collected is not used to pay vendors, maintenance, labor, rent, a loan, or anything else in running a business

It belongs to NYS, Genesee County, and the City of Batavia.

Pretty simple math and illegal.

Maybe they should have kept the $100 prize they gave for a sub eating contest last Sept.

Mike Piazza
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Beth, I didn't say it was legal to do.....I was just offering up an opinion of what could have happened.....I don't know what their reason for not remitting the taxes to the state. By the way, the state and federal governments' both "borrow funds" from one program to keep afloat other programs. (not that this has anything to do with the Molasses Hill situation, but I'm just saying sometimes things happen and people can/will do things in trying times that they normally don't do to keep their livelihood). Molasses Hilll has been in business for a few years and up until a few mos. ago they probably paid their quarterly sales taxes(since we haven't heard at least publicly until now about this situation).

Dave Olsen
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I seem to recall a few years ago there being a situation with a local bar whom the state claimed owed more sales tax than was paid. The state's basis for this was that an investigator had sat there for a few hours made an estimate as to how much cash was collected and then extrapolated it out for a week then a month. Who's to say they don't do that with delis as well. Before anyone passes judgement, ask yourselves do the state tax goons work with someone or do they shut the place down and work it out later? Personally I trust the business owner far more than the tax goons. This too is only an opinion, I do not know the owner or anything about the situation, I'm also not making a judgement.

Fred GUNDELL
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This whole sales tax is the hub of the wheel. If they collected sales tax and did not forward it to NYS, that is illegal, and like stealing from their customers. That is not their money. Assuming that is what the problem is. Now if you want to dig a little deeper, the sales tax in this state is out of control. We pay for everything except the air we breath, food and tea. Unless of course you are Native American, and live on the various soverign land or old water park in Niagara Falls. They have different rules. But rest assured the next time you order a quarter pounder from Miickey D's good old NYS will get 28 cents of your bill for nothing. That 28 cents will mostly go to Albany to fund Medicaid for residence that do not work for one reason or another.

Mark Potwora
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This is where the whole winners and losers argument is all about ..in the case for what ever reason right or wrong the owner of this store didn't pay all taxes owed to the government..Then you have other business's such as a Target or COR who are allowed to forgo sales tax and property tax for a period of time..Don't both provide jobs?.

John Roach
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If they collected the tax, they had an obligation to send it on. The tax itself is a separate issue. And a half of that tax comes back to the County and the City of Batavia.

If they were allowed not to pay, how is that fair to their competitors who do pay?

john pocock
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Very simple, sell something, collect tax, pay tax. What is so hard about that???

john pocock
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Very stupid statement

Mark Taggett
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Howard - any follow up? "said he and his wife are trying to negotiate with Taxation and Finance to be able to reopen today with an agreement to pay taxes owed by July 15.". Were they successful in negotiating?

Howard B. Owens
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Reminder -- real names required. M T, please update your user profile accordingly.

Kurt Schwab
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THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!

We have no idea if or why they didn't pay their taxes. Perhaps the bigger question is why did the Tax Addicted Gestapo Goons Enforcing Dictatorship (henceforth to be referred to as TAGGED) need that money in the first place?
My suggestions:

1, Slimeball Silver needs more hush $ for sexual harassment lawsuits.
2. Chuck U. Schumer needs more $ so he can buy private healthcare.
3. Pope Andrew needs more $ for the secret police to come take our guns.
4. Brian Friggins needs a new perm.
5. Mayor Shortpants needs more $ to ban.....everything.
6. Mayor Byron Wheresthecamera? needs $ to buyback more toy guns.
7. We all need more billboards to tell us where to get our government cheese.
8. We all need more prisons for people that got "TAGGED" ( I had to use that again!)
9. We need more $tudies.
10. We need more $ to edjumicate our chillren on why they need more gubment.

While I was writing all the reasons why the Empire needs more $ I thought about some likely reasons why this business got TAGGED in the first place.

1. They have a cell phone.
2. They have email.
3. They were seen at a gun rally.
4. They have Christian books ***gasp*** in their store.
5. They make great sandwiches but don't use government cheese.
6. They were seen at a pro life rally.
7. They were NOT seen at the government "approved" rally.
8. They listen to talk radio.
9. They believe in the Constitution.
10.They live in NYS.

I don't know about anybody else, but as soon as they reopen, I'm gonna go buy me a sammich. I hope others will join.

Autumn Connolly
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Maybe it is time they cut back the amount of meat on a sub to make some extra cash. Everyone knows 1 sub can feed a family of 4. LOL

Howard B. Owens
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To Robert Brown: I missed your comment earlier ... the officer is talking with me, joking about wanting to get out of their about before I take a picture. Since the police car was parked there when I arrived, I wanted to get it in the shot. As is often the case, the police are on scene when a tax agent seizes a business because the situation can be tense. I think your comment is unfair to the police officer.

carl hyde
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I will be there getting a sub. The gov. gets to much tax money. Thats why they gave the Syrian rebels a billion in aid. And sent Bitch obama on vacation to africa at a 1 million dollar expense to taxpayers. The government is corupt.

Robert Brown
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Thanks for explaining the setting completely Howard. I of course meant no disrespect - irony is still irony, despite well intentions and unrelated conversations. That's exactly why the picture doesn't always capture the moment.

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