A York County business man was charged Monday after county officials say he refused to pay 10 months of unpaid hospitality taxes.
Kenneth Kobulinsky, 46, has been charged with 10 counts of violating a county ordinance.
Kobulinsky, who owned Madisons on the Corner, a restaurant at 900 Crossroads Plaza in Fort Mill, is charged with not paying the tax for 10 months in 2012, according to the York County Sheriff's Office.
County officials estimate Kobulinsky owed at least $8,814.42 from those 10 months. An email provided by the York County Sheriff's Office shows Kobulinsky may have owed money from additional months as well.
Assistant County Manager Kevin Madden said the county believes Kobulinsky was collecting the tax from customers, but not sending the money to the county.
The restaurant has since closed.
York County collects a 2-percent tax at businesses that sell prepared food or drink in unincorporated areas. Money collected from the tax, instituted Jan. 1, 2007, is used to fund county tourism projects. It brings in more than $2 million annually.
York County code says the punishment for not paying the tax could be a fine of up to $500 or up to 30 days of jail time, or both — for each charge.
16th Judicial Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said he believes Kobulinsky is the first person charged with not paying the hospitality tax in York County.
Madden said the county found about a dozen businesses that either weren't collecting the tax from customers, or who were collecting the tax but not sending the money to the county.
The latter is "the most egregious" Brackett said. He said it essentially could be seen as theft.
"They're taking money from both their patrons and taking from the county at large," Brackett said.
Madden said the county spoke with each of the businesses to work out payment plans. Kobulinsky refused to cooperate.
"Everybody to date, other than this particular individual, has been cooperative," Madden said.
Brackett said the county wants to make sure businesses know they need to be collecting the tax and sending money to the county.
"We're going to take a hard line," he said.
Brackett said if a business hasn't been aware of hospitality or collecting it, owners should contact the York County Finance Office.
"We're willing to work with people, and I believe the county is as well," he said.
Efforts to obtain comment from Kobulinsky were unsuccessful.
Hannah Smoot: 803-329-4068, @hgsmoot