Friday, March 20, 2009

Michigan Town Wants Nonprofit to Lose Its Liquor License For Not Paying Taxes and Water Bills

The Detroit Free Press reports that the Auburn Hills City Council is objecting to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission renewing a nonprofit's liquor license because the nonprofit, the Mexican Mutual Society, owes more than $35,000 in water and sewer bills and back taxes.

The council has asked the commission to audit and investigate the organization's licensing, however, an official with the commission says the investigation is unlikely to happen because state law prohibits the commission from denying a nonprofit club's license based on a municipality's objections.  Auburn Hills City Manager Peter Auger said the request was sent to the commission along with other liquor licensing recommendations on Tuesday.  According to Sharon Martin, deputy director of licensing for the commission, when the commission receives such requests, it sends letters to the municipalities informing them that the investigation won't proceed because the statute doesn't allow it.  Martin said the commission generally intervenes only if a club is not legitimately operating as a nonprofit or if it breaks state laws, including selling alcohol to nonmembers or to minors.

According to its web site, the Mexican Mutual Society was founded in 1943 by seven Mexican-American men and "takes pride in promoting the Hispanic culture."  An official at the club declined to comment.

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