County busts local bakery for late taxes

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- The unexpected visitors came early this morning. County Tax Assessor Collector Mike Sullivan, along with several deputy constables, arrived at Slow Dough Bread Company. This time, they were looking for a different kind of dough: back taxes.

"Most businesses in Harris County want to pay their taxes, they understand they have a duty and responsibility to pay their taxes and they do," said Sullivan. "It's unfortunately sometimes businesses don't and we get to this stage."

County records show that Slow Dough literally lived up to its name. Records show it owed more than $13,000 in taxes this year. In addition, records show the company has been late in paying taxes in three previous years. Operations Manager Thomas Massey says he had no idea there was a problem.

"I'm not the accountant, so I'm not aware of those [issues], but we took care of it as soon as they asked," said Massey.

Slow Dough is a popular commercial bakery serving some of the best restaurants around Texas. Its breads are also sold locally at places like Revival Market. With more than 350 commercial customers, if the company hadn't paid, the constables could have seized a lot of baking equipment, causing problems in the company's production schedule.

"When they avoid telephone calls, site visits -- delay, delay, delay -- when you show up with a Constable in uniform, things become very serious," said Sullivan, who told us he does site visits at delinquent businesses around once every quarter.

Today, the situation was quickly resolved. Massey drove to the bank and returned 20 minutes later with a cashier's check for the full amount of back taxes.

"Pay your taxes on time folks," quipped Massey. "Especially in an election year."

The company had a sense of humor, posting about the incident on its Facebook page, saying that its CFO took the concept of "Slow Dough" a little too far. It has also said it would re-examine its communications with its accountants.
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