Spokane Journal of Business

WTB hasn’t paid taxes, state says

It asks court to dismiss company’s Chap. 11 filing or convert it to Chap. 7

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The state of Washington has filed a motion asking that Spokane trucking company WTB Inc.s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing be dismissed or converted to a Chapter 7 liquidation due to the companys alleged failure to file post-petition tax returns and to pay more than $40,000 in accrued taxes.

A Seattle-based assistant attorney general filed the motion late last month on behalf of the state departments of Employment Security and Labor & Industries. A supporting memorandum claimed that WTB owed nearly $26,000 to Employment Security for unpaid unemployment taxes and more than $15,000 to Labor & Industries for unpaid industrial insurance premiums, both for the period from the fourth quarter of 1997 through the fourth quarter of 1998.

Dan ORourke, WTBs attorney, says he has filed an objection to the states motion. He says the company has the money to pay the past-due taxes, but has been waiting for a court order confirming its reorganization plan to be completed first. Confirmation of the plan now has been scheduled for May 11, he says.

WTB filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in March 1997. The case recently was reassigned to a Yakima judge due to a conflict of interest by a judge here.

WTB President Garry Padrta filed for protection from creditors personally under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code last July, listing assets of about $347,000 and liabilities of about $6.3 million. However, most of the liabilities in the personal petition were identified as corporate obligations of WTB or two other now-defunct companies Padrta headed, Garry & Sons Inc. and Inland Northwest Leasing.

Padrta said in an interview last fall that he was confident WTB eventually would return to full health. He said the company had paid off millions of dollars in debt over the previous year and a half and had expanded its operating fleet to 53 trucks from 23 trucks. WTB at one time commanded a fleet of 280 trucks.

Kim Crompton
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