Oologah Convenience Store Struggles To Open Doors
OOLOGAH, Oklahoma - A Convenience Store in Oologah has been trying to open its doors for the past 3 months, but they say the Oklahoma Tax Commission is giving them trouble.
The Oklahoma Tax Commission denied the Mustang Mini Mart in Oologah a sales tax permit back in November, and in February, they are still working to open their doors with the support of the entire community behind them.
"They’ve been robbed by the state of Oklahoma by not allowing them to open and do business in our community," said Carolyn Estes, Oologah Chamber President.
Carolyn Estes moved to Oologah in 1967 with her family. She says this store is very important to the town.
“This is where we get our gas. this is where the kids come after school to get a snack,” said Estes, “Not only that but it brings in a tremendous amount of tax dollars to the community, to the county, and to the state.”
The Mustang Mini Mart is one of two gas stations in Oologah, so Owners Chris and Mindy Vann knew it was vital to keep the doors open, and after doing a standard title search and finding no leans attached they ended up purchasing the property in early November.
"On November the seventh, a field rep knocked on the door asking for the previous owner, I explained to him that it had sold the day before and he just basically wished me luck getting a tax permit,” said Mindy Vann, Owner, Mustang Mini Mart.
They say they didn't hear back for several weeks and at the end of the month were told to contact the legal division.
"My husband went to researching and he found where they had filed a tax warrant against the previous owner because he had failed to be compliant with the Oklahoma Tax Commission and that was filed 8 days after we had purchased the property with the clear title," said Vann.
Since then, they say the OTC has denied them several times because they believed they were a successor business, but the Vann's filed the paperwork with an entirely new corporation name, Mustang Flashback, Inc.
"After consulting with attorneys we had made an offer to pay the back taxes that were attached to the building, we were advised that they would not accept us paying the back taxes or we could pay them but they still wouldn’t issue a permit," said Vann.
Vann says weeks went by without hearing anything, but after staring at shelves of expired food for months, they say enough is enough.
"We have no revenue coming in, the town is suffering, the high school kids have no place to go after class. This little store is needed,” said Vann, “When it has the right owners, it’s a thriving store and that’s what we are trying to do is bring this store back to the community."
News on 6 spoke with the Oklahoma Tax Commission and they say they want to work with the owners to get this dispute settled as soon as possible so they can get the Mustang Mini Mart up and running for the community.