Three Wheat State Pizza locations in Kansas were reopened under new ownership Monday after the Kansas Department of Revenue seized the properties for failure to pay taxes.
“Wheat State Pizza is open for business,” said new owner Brad Remington. Remington purchased the pizza chain’s Baldwin City and Emporia locations, and the Lawrence store at 23rd and Louisiana streets.
According to a Department of Revenue statement, Ryan Murphy, the stores’ previous owner, owed $233,713 in state sales tax and withholding tax. Tax agents seized Murphy’s business and personal assets and posted “seized” and “closed” signs on the Lawrence store’s entrance at 10 a.m. Monday.
“We don’t want to close businesses,” said revenue spokeswoman Freda Warfield. She said seizures are used as the department’s last resort, and the agency “had to look out for the best interest for the state of Kansas.”
“In this situation you look at the sales tax alone and that’s a lot of money,” Warfield said.
Remington purchased the three properties from Baldwin State Bank and returned to Lawrence on Monday evening to reopen the restaurant.
“Our previous owner had some issues with the state; those have thus been taken care of,” he said.
The Baldwin City location was also reopened Monday and the Emporia location will open Tuesday. Remington said all three properties will remain Wheat State Pizza locations and the business is “as good as usual.”