BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A major speed bump for the Baltimore Grand Prix. The state has now filed a tax lien on Baltimore Racing Development.
Andrea Fujii has more on what that means for the future of the race.
Baltimore Racing Development owes the city and state nearly $600,000 in taxes. Now, officials say they will get their money one way or another.
The first annual Baltimore Grand Prix could be the last. Baltimore Racing Development owes nearly $600,000 in taxes.
“I know they owe money to Baltimore and they owe money to the vendors but when they owe money to the taxman, then they’re in trouble,” said State Comptroller Peter Franchot.
Franchot says the state will go after the corporation and its officers.
“These folks have opted to duck their obligation and it’s only fair that we collect that money,” Franchot said.
Earlier this month, the mayor’s office threatened to pull the plug on the city’s five-year contract with the Baltimore Grand Prix unless the organization settles its debts with the city by the end of the year. Those debts include $375,000 in city services, nearly $500,000 for admissions and amusement taxes, $250,000 for race event fees and $50,000 for Parking Authority. That doesn’t include hundreds of thousands owed to vendors.
Former Race CEO Jay Davidson spoke with WJZ following the mayor’s threat.
“If they ask for us to do it without running the race again, I mean, no, we don’t have the money just sitting there. Otherwise, we would have paid it,” Davidson said.
He says he thought escrowed ticket money would be used to pay the taxes but it hasn’t been.
Franchot says he won’t accept excuses.
“Fair is fair and wrong is wrong,” Franchot said. “This is wrong.”
Davidson says he couldn’t speak on behalf of the Grand Prix because he’s no longer the CEO. However, he and his wife were both named in the tax lien.
The Grand Prix is reportedly close to hiring a new CEO, Felix Dawson, a former executive for Constellation Energy Group.