Landlord: Carino’s owes $33K on tax bill

$60K in rent due as well, owner says

As of Friday, Carino’s Italian Restaurant owed more than $16,000 for real property taxes due on property it once occupied at 2480 U.S. Highway 6&50, a lawyer for the landlord alleged Thursday.

It also owed three months back rent as of Friday, according to court records.

The triple net lease between Frank Farzani family members and Carino’s does not expire for more than 12 years and requires Carino’s to pay all taxes on the property during the term of the lease, court records show.

Half the tax was due Friday based on the county’s assessed value for the building of $518,000, county tax records show.

Building owners evicted Carino’s from its building Monday for past due rent.

Grand Junction attorney William M. Kane emailed The Daily Sentinel with the Mesa County tax notice Thursday and copied the Sentinel on an email in which Texas bankruptcy lawyer Barbara Barron said Carino’s probably won’t pay the tax bill without a deal on reduced rent.

“The failure of Carino’s to honor the lease term requiring payment of the first half of the tax (Feb. 28) is to require the Farzanis (landlords and owners of the real property) to pay the entire amount due by April 30,” Kane wrote Thursday. 

The county notice calls for payment of half the tax Friday — about $16,472 — and payment of the other half by June 15.

As of Friday, Carino’s allegedly owes landlords and owners Frank Farzani and Wilmington Center three months back rent, or more than $60,000, according to court records.

In a Jan. 22 email exchange between Kane and Texas bankruptcy lawyer Barbara Barron, Kane asks if Carino’s owner, Kona Restaurant Group, would be paying the Mesa County tax bill.

Not unless an agreement on reduced rent is reached, Barron responded.

“Keep in mind that the tax is due for calendar year 2013, while Carino’s occupied the premises. This is an example of the hardball that Carino’s has been playing,” Kane wrote.

A telephone message left with Carino’s President and CEO Creed Ford was not immediately returned.


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