State closes Dent's Undertaking

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The doors to the historic Dent's Undertaking Establishment were locked this week by the state's Department of Revenue.

State tax collectors swept in Monday to close the city's oldest black-owned funeral home.

The business can reopen, however, if the owners pay the $142,334 it owes the state for sales taxes, said Charles Willey, the spokesman for the Department of Revenue.

The funeral home was founded by John and Julia Dent in 1888, family members have told The Augusta Chronicle in past reports. The business has remained in the Dent family since.

Dent's has a history of tax difficulties going back to the mid-1990s, Mr. Willey said.

According to state and county records, liens have repeatedly been placed on the funeral home to collect federal, state and local taxes.

If the current balance is not paid, the Department of Revenue could take possession of all personal property inside the D'Antignac Street funeral home, Mr. Willey said. No date for such action has been set.

The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. According to property records, it is valued at $284,636 and is in the name of Frank Griffin, the funeral director.

The sales tax is considered a trust tax that businesses collect and send to the state, Mr. Willey said. The state keeps 4 percent and sends the rest back to the county, he said.

A person answering the phone at Dent's who didn't want to be identified said Tuesday that the owners are working to raise the money to pay off the tax debt. They hope to accomplish that today.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.

BUSINESS STAYED IN THE FAMILY


- Family members told The Chronicle in past reports that Dent's Undertaking Establishment was founded by John and Julia Dent in 1888. Mr. Dent learned embalming at Platt's Funeral Home because at that time blacks weren't allowed to attend embalming school programs for whites.


- Dent's moved from Broad Street to D'Antignac Street in 1900.


- Mr. Dent died in 1911, and his wife, Julia, took over the funeral home. Mrs. Dent died in 1945. The Dents' son-in-law, Thomas H. Ketch Sr., who married their only daughter, took over the funeral home. Mr. Ketch led the company until his death in 1985. His daughters, Thomasina Ketch and Juliette Burton, took over the family business.


- In 1990, the funeral home was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Source: Augusta Chronicle archives

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christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 07:34 am
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The subject was IRS and

The subject was IRS and failure to pay taxes which is a nightmare for any American especially the bad word "Audit"...But that is not why you silly folks unite; it is to band around poor justus4, pat him on the back and say "Well done justus you did good"...Now all the sick pathetic whites will get a chewing out they so richly deserve...Now let's go for ice cream"...

christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 07:36 am
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Your mouthing off about my

Your mouthing off about my Christianity is a nonsensical diversion to the racist remarks of one of your own jackfruit...Clean your own house before you attack mine...

CSRAider
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CSRAider 07/23/08 - 07:36 am
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C134 your prejudice!

C134 your prejudice!

Edward1968
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Edward1968 07/23/08 - 07:37 am
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It's amazing how everything

It's amazing how everything on this discussion board comes down to race. Dents has not been paying taxes so under the law they are shut down. Are they crooks? Are they just having difficulty? I don't know. I hope they are able to recover and get their business back in order. Coyote, you are living proof that rabies does affect the brain. Go get your shots while there is time.

christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 07:38 am
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:-) CSRAider

:-) CSRAider

WW1949
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WW1949 07/23/08 - 07:39 am
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State sales taxes are

State sales taxes are collected on each sale and are to be sent to the state in a sales and use tax report each month. You have to send the tax even if your client has not paid. But I believe funeral homes collect a deposit up front which would cover the tax. The sales taxes were collected but were diverted to other uses by the funeral home. Why should they be bailed out like justus4 says? They are just like any other business including mine which was started by my family in 1914.

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 07/23/08 - 07:40 am
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ok Christian134 to God be the

ok Christian134 to God be the Glory, Amen.

christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 07:40 am
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Now give some of your sage

Now give some of your sage advice to justus4 jackfruit...:-)

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 07/23/08 - 07:41 am
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christian134 this scripture

christian134 this scripture is for you today: Psalms 139:23-24: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. You allow the enemy to oppress you when it comes to RACE... turn that stuff alose.

christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 07:44 am
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Look to your own jackfruit...

Look to your own jackfruit...

jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 07/23/08 - 07:49 am
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I do, really but nevertheless

I do, really but nevertheless this scripture fits you daily, when will you allow God to help and deliver you christian134, the more you detest, hate and be angry the more you are seperated from God.
Matthew 15:8 - This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. When will you get your heart right and turn some of this stuff alose?

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 07/23/08 - 07:52 am
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When people show you who they

When people show you who they are, believe them.

Reality
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Reality 07/23/08 - 07:58 am
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Well at 10% that would be

Well at 10% that would be $1,423,000.............

pointstoponder
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pointstoponder 07/23/08 - 08:03 am
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Not paying taxes=crime.

Not paying taxes=crime. Working to get money to pay unpaid taxes is at least an indication that there is some level of culpability. Therefore, the owners are, by definition criminals, intentional or not. Should they be shut down? No. If they are shut down, the odds of taxes due being paid are seriously diminished and the community loses a historically valuable resource. Should they be bailed out? No, but there is no reason they shouldn't be allowed to develop a payment schedule unless they were offered the opportunity in the past and failed to live up to the terms.

fair is fair
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fair is fair 07/23/08 - 08:03 am
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Most people would have their

Most people would have their bank accounts levied before that much money was owed.

Reality
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Reality 07/23/08 - 08:10 am
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Sell off all of their assets,

Sell off all of their assets, pay the taxes and take over the building. Like that will ever happen..............

christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 08:10 am
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Once again jackfruit you

Once again jackfruit you divert from the article by trying to debase my name...Although I love the scripture and I find it useful no matter who seeks to quote it but using it in this way is very unproductive...Take care of your "jar of clay" before you try and clean up mine...

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 07/23/08 - 08:12 am
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Lord Have Mercy on us.

Lord Have Mercy on us.

1morechance
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1morechance 07/23/08 - 08:15 am
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Stop Assuming, These are

Stop Assuming, These are good peoples. What ever the reason maybe, I hope that they will regroup and come back stronger.
Maybe they should have filed Chapter 9 or 13 like most of YOU!!!

Reality
3
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Reality 07/23/08 - 08:23 am
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These might be good peoples,

These might be good peoples, but let me ax you a question.How long has it been since they paid their taxes? I am sure they have collected some sort of revenue, they paid all of the other taxes....

cparker
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cparker 07/23/08 - 08:25 am
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Dent's will get the taxes

Dent's will get the taxes paid...I don't believe any business should be closed forever over past due taxes because much of the bill is penalties anyway. The IRS picks and chooses who to give tax relief to in these situations everyday. They have even closed down businesses only to be found in error years later, owing hundreds of thousands for miscalulating business tax bills. They even take the liberty to estimate what they think you owe. Situations as undefined or subjective as this should never costs us as much as it does. Some of you can not imagine a $3,000 miscalculation being caught seven years later becoming a $35,000 tax problem. So lets just wait and see. There are people out there that will help Dent's resolve this problem and continue serving the Augusta community.

christian134
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christian134 07/23/08 - 08:27 am
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No one is saying they are not

No one is saying they are not good people SLD but it just so happens that when someone seeks to make racial remarks that would assume that the establishment in question is under attack for racial reasons and not because the IRS is an equal opportunity life destroyers then the people here attack each other and the Dent family gets caught in the middle...Understand now...Oh by the by most of us...that is a broad statement don't you think...

1morechance
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1morechance 07/23/08 - 08:28 am
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Maybe this would not have

Maybe this would not have happen if people pay there complete bill instead of a portion of it. I am hurt that this had to happen to people who have been good to me. What ever the reason which none of us know, i hope that they can pull through. Maybe they should have filed Chapter 9 or 13 like most of the other folks (u no who)

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/23/08 - 08:30 am
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Watch out for that boulder.

Watch out for that boulder.

christian134
1
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christian134 07/23/08 - 08:31 am
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Actually the implementing of

Actually the implementing of the Fair Tax bill would be of great help in all our lives...

stillamazed
1488
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stillamazed 07/23/08 - 08:45 am
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I would like to say that I

I would like to say that I was mistaken in my post about Dent's having James Brown's body...thank you pqapeach2 for so kindly pointing that out. My post still stands about the taxes owed....You only owe taxes on what you make, therefore in order to owe that much they had to have been making money.

aaa
2
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aaa 07/23/08 - 08:48 am
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If we had the FAIR TAX,

If we had the FAIR TAX, Dent's wouldn't be facing such a humiliating situation and the government would already have it's money.

intheknow
16
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intheknow 07/23/08 - 08:49 am
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Have we ever heard of

Have we ever heard of estimated tax? Ask any waitress what their taxes are based on. Having said that, if they owe the money then they must do like anyone make arrangement to pay it.

EkaterinaAlexandrovna
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EkaterinaAlexandrovna 07/23/08 - 08:49 am
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I am always amazed at how

I am always amazed at how many people make comments before even reading the article. A quick read provides answers to many questions: 1) they have been having problems with taxes since mid-1990s, 2) they were not responsible for James Brown's funeral, and 3) the building is already listed on The National Register of Historic Places. Of course, since it is (was) a currently operating business, they would not be exempt from tax as a historic place, even if such places are exempt.

lovetolaugh
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lovetolaugh 07/23/08 - 09:05 am
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the irs threaten me with

the irs threaten me with freezing my checking and savings account for less that 700.00. Hey IRS go after the big fish and leave us little ones in the lake.

ya'll be nice and stop hating

oh by the way good morning all

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