Howard County has filed suit against three Columbia dentists for the second time in three years to collect unpaid taxes.
In a suit filed in Howard Circuit Court on Oct. 13, the county claims that Drs. Paul R. Miller, Robert A. Jacobson and Joel L. Parran owe nearly $21,000 in unpaid taxes and interest from their partnership.
The dentists operate a practice in the 10000 block of Governor Warfield Parkway in Columbia. They also have an office in the Harundale Mall in Glen Burnie.
Neither the dentists nor Jeffrey Pritzer, a Towson attorney who represented them in their first case, could be reached.
The county typically has to file a suit only once to collect against a delinquent business or resident.
"We just decided not to stop," Assistant County Solicitor Rebecca Laws said. "In this case, it seemed worth our while. . . . We think in this case there is money to be collected."
The county first filed suit against the dentists' partnership in August 1989 to collect $11,186 in taxes and $3,320 in interest owed from the 1986, 1987 and 1888 fiscal years, court records say.
Circuit Judge James Dudley issued a judgment in June 1990, ordering the dentists to pay the delinquent taxes.
However, the partnership has yet to pay those and now owes $9,729 in interest, records say.
The dentists formed their partnership in July 1983, opening the Columbia Family Dental Center in the 10000 block of Governor Warfield Parkway, records say.
In September 1988, the corporation was dissolved and the assets were transferred to the individual members of the partnership, records say.
"The defendants, as directors of the corporation, authorized a distribution of the assets, knowing that the remaining assets would not be sufficient to pay the indebtedness of the corporation," the county contends.
The dentists, however, continued to operate their practice together and use the property of the original corporation in the same offices, the county claims.
Even though the original corporation is no longer in business, the county contends that the dentists are responsible for paying its taxes, records say.
The new suit is the latest in a series of steps by the county to collect the taxes.
Before filing the suits, the county sent the partnership notices that the company was behind in its taxes, County Solicitor Barbara Cook said.
Ms. Laws noted that the partnership avoided service of court XTC notices of hearings in the case. Court records show that the county Sheriff's Office attempted to serve one notice five times, causing a hearing to be rescheduled.