UPDATED WITH A SYNOPSIS FOR Amanda G. York AND OTHERS: ****************************************************** Synopsis: Imagine if, due to an error on your part, your house was to repossessed unless you paid in full TOMORROW. Now imagine someone giving you a check for that full amount, with one request: CONTINUE TO MAKE YOUR HOUSE PAYMENTS, but make them to charity instead. That's all that happened here, but with back taxes. *****************************************************
INDIANAPOLIS AND BEYOND, I thank you all. Not simply for helping us... but for something far more than that. You won't believe what you did...
YOU RAISED $30,000 FOR Indy's The PourHouse, Inc.
You see, we didn't deserve your generosity, but we gracefully accepted it. And we didn't deserve the emergency funds, but we humbly admitted that we needed it.
But we NEVER would keep what isn't ours. The funds are not ours, and we will not be keeping them. We're pleased to announce a partnership with YOUR charity of choice, Andrea De Mink's "The PourHouse, Inc."
YOU chose the charity, long ago, in an online vote.
YOU delivered bag after bag of blankets, gloves, full face skimasks, pants, and more, during the recent bitter cold snaps.
And now, with the fog clearing, we realize that the $30,000 installments no longer due to IDOR must go somewhere. They are not ours to keep.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
You see, we can't use the GoFundMe account until it reaches $30,000. It's close, but the final push should be the knowledge that in our new partnership with Andrea and The PourHouse, the funds will go to donations of cash and bulk purchases of blankets, clothes, and more. I'll let Andrea speak for the needs of the homeless population in Indianapolis (Andrea, please do so here), but our pleas to you for donations to The PourHouse are no longer needed. It's our honor and privilege to take that burden from here on.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S EVEN MORE!!
Yes, for every thousand dollars raised above $30,000, Papa Roux will provide dollar-for-dollar matching donations in hot meals for the homeless via The PourHouse. You see, Andrea was trying to handle this on her own a few weeks ago, and someone reported her to the Board of Health for serving food without a permit. So, let's have that one be on us. Again, it would be an honor.
In all of this, it's been a pleasure to get to know who has our backs in a time of need. And it's been enlightening to know who doesn't.
I hope this announcement makes you smile. It makes us smile. It made Andrea scream "oh SHIT!" when she read our mail on her phone. In church.
If you misjudged us, and accused us of double-dipping or lining our pockets or anything similar, I am very sad for you. What a miserable life it must be, judging people without knowing details. People like you need to stay out of The Roux, please. Forever. Your business is not wanted. But enough about Beth Dalke.
"Much misinformation out there about our current situation. I've got very limited network access (prison internet sucks) (that's a joke there, folks, I'm not actually in prison) (not yet) but will try to give some info as I can.
The whole issue surrounds a past-due obligation from 2012 that we have been working with DOR about for nearly a year. Some things got missed in 2012, and by the time we figured it all out, the past-due amount was higher than we could take care of all at once. Those of you who want to judge us missing a few filings should try to do HALF of what any small business owner does in a given week. But like I said, it's not that we simply chose to stop paying anything... it's that 2012 was a nutty year, and we missed a few filings without realizing it. It happens.
Anyway, like I said, we were making good on it, AND completely current on all obligations as well. Then, out of the blue, we got a mailing from DOR on Monday, with conflicting information regarding the status of those 2012 filings. Some months were suddenly open again that we have records showing were closed. The letter stated that we needed to take action immediately to avoid closure, and I telephoned IMMEDIATELY. I left a detailed voicemail for the caseworker we are dealing with, asking her to telephone back ASAP so we could figure out what action we needed to take.
The next day, Mayor Ballard closed all government offices due to weather. We didn't receive a phone call, and I didn't expect one with the closure.
Wednesday came and went with no return call, and we poured over paperwork trying to figure out where the discrepancies were and why. Again, keep in mind, ALL of this for a 2012 obligation that we were making good on WHILE REMAINING CURRENT. There's no shame in that. And if you feel there's shame in that, quite frankly I don't want your business.
SO. Thursday I'm out of town on business with Paul Sanchez, and I get a telephone call that DOR is at the restaurant shutting us down. I spoke to our caseworker, who was at The Roux, and she quoted ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS amounts due. Due immediately. More money due than we bring in in gross sales. It's a scare tactic, and Kim York Watkins and others can attest to that one.
Communications progressed to the supervisor at DOR's Taxpayer Advocacy Office, who told us we had an immediate amount due of $2300. No matter that we didn't understand WHY that was so, it was clear that we needed to pay and let the dust clear later. Which is no problem at all... we didn't know we owed that immediately, but paying it immediately was no problem. We tried to arrange it over the phone.
That's when things suddenly went weird. AFTER telling me the amount due on the payment plan was $2300, and AFTER I tried to pay it immediately, I was told that wasn't good enough. The payment plan was revoked, no longer an option, and we aren't allowed to open for business again until we pay all 2012 amounts immediately.
I ask any of you with any common sense... if we could pay the 2012 amounts immediately, would we have been working with the advocacy center to begin with? We're current on all new obligations and making good on old ones... But if we can't open for business, that all stops immediately.
The city loses money, the state loses money. My employees lose money. You lose lunch. I fail to see the common sense in ANY of this.
Oh, and there's one more thing. I mentioned Kim York Watkins. I'll let her tell her story in her own words, but as I understand it, her business received an IDENTICAL threatening letter on Monday, and ALSO was not able to reach anyone at DOR when she called, and ALSO is not receiving return calls.
Sounds fishy to me, folks. What's going on here? My theory? We're the next Detroit, and memos went out at every level of government office (including DCE) to call in all possible past due amounts immediately, using any tactics necessary. There's only one time in my entire life I called in a debt from a friend IMMEDIATELY, and it was when I was fresh out of college and hit one month where I had budgeted poorly and was about to not be able to pay my apartment rent. I don't mean to be chicken little here -- ok, that's not true... I do mean to be chicken little -- but ask yourself WHY multiple businesses would receive threats to pay grossly exaggerated amounts all by the end of January 2014, or else?
Okay. Too long, didn't read. Sorry about that. This is my first chance to explain anything and I wanted to make it count. Thank you for your support. Unless you're a hater. In which case thank you for the publicity. I'm not sure which of you is better for us, but I do know which ones of you I love. Art Bouvier
Chief Button Pusher,
PS PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK AS MUCH AS YOUR LITTLE MOUSE CAN CLICK. THANK YOU."
"Hello all. I'm here! It's been a very long day, as you are aware. I don't have much time for explanation right now but what I must say is, WOW!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart! This is a bizarre series of events that not even I understand entirely yet. In the midst of it, you all have shown nothing but love and support. From customers to business friends, the empathy and the outpouring of support is overwhelming. As the messages came flooding in, we were literally moved to tears.
Tomorrow, Chef JJ's Backyard Bistro trailer will be at the Roux. As you know, all of our product is fresh and therefore must be sold before the weekend. He has offered to sell it for us! Check here in the morning for more details.
Thank you again friends. You amaze and humble me."
"Well. This is awkward and unfortunate. And we're gonna need your help on this one. We got to the bottom of it, and there is actually an amount past due. However, because of this issue, we have a serious immediate financial need and we need to move quickly to be ready for Mardi Gras. We cannot open our doors again until we get this resolved, and that needs to be NOW obviously. So... We've decided to crowd source this. "