Less than a week after it began, a gofundme.com effort to raise the tax money owed by The Dixie Café is almost halfway to its $5,500 goal.
Ed and Carolyn Garr have been making payments to the city in an effort to catch up on the quarterly restaurant tax payments dating back to late 2014.
City officials say The Dixie owes: $1,012.32 for the first quarter of 2015, $1,503.17 for the second quarter of 2015, $1,245.09 for the third quarter of 2015, $1,141.06 for the fourth quarter of 2015, and amounts to be determined for the fourth quarter of 2014, and the first two quarters of 2016 for which tax returns were not filed.
The Corbin City Commission voted in August to authorize City Attorney Bob Hammons to take legal action to collect the back taxes from The Dixie and two other local restaurants that City Manager Marlon Sams said were habitually behind on the payments, Seasons and Dino’s.
By the end of August, Seasons and Dino’s had both paid what they owed.
The Garrs had gotten behind while dealing with medical issues their son was facing.
In addition to the actual taxes, the restaurant owes penalties and fees.
Jennifer Gray, a regular customer at the restaurant, said when she saw the articles in The News Journal, she realized how bad the situation was for Ed and Carolyn.
“I told my husband, Ryan, ‘We need to help them.’”
Gray said she didn’t set out to begin the gofundme campaign.
However, when she posted on her Facebook page the situation, she received a reply from someone outside of Corbin suggesting the gofundme effort so people outside the area could help.
“I thought ‘What could it hurt?’”
“I just felt such a connection,” Gray added. “They are not just there for themselves. They make sure their customers get what they need and are treated well.”
Gray started the page “Save the Dixie Café” Thursday and as of Tuesday afternoon 38 people had pledged $2,050.
Several of the donors did so anonymously.
Others, such as Laurel Dailey, added a message along with their pledges.
“Praying for this family,” Dailey wrote. “Hope you raise more than enough money to ease the burden and to keep your business going.”
In addition to individuals are multiple local business owners such as Richard DiMaggio, whose restaurant, Basil’s, is right across Main Street.
Other local businesses and restaurants such as Mi Casa Mexican restaurant, You & Me Coffee & Tea, The Depot on Main, Tri-County Cineplex and The Wrigley Taproom have pledged donations.
“May God bless the Garr family and the Dixie,” was included with the Tri-County Cineplex pledge.
Ed Garr said he was surprised by the effort and the response.
“I feel very blessed,” Ed Garr said.
As to the pledges from other local small business owners, Garr said he wasn’t surprised but thankful to them and everyone that has contributed.
“They understand you go through struggles,” Garr said.
“If I had the resources and one of them needed the help, I would be right there,” he added. “Putting others first is what you do.”
At Garr’s request, Gray said the proceeds from the gofundme effort would be turned over to attorney Jeff Hill, who is representing The Dixie in the lawsuit.