Atlanta Airport Vendor, Owned by Mayor's Ex, Faces State Tax Deadlines

The company operates three stores at Hartsfield-Jackson --- two Bijoux Terner gift shops and Bagmania. The firm owes $176,000 in state taxes.


The remainder of the liabilities --- which comprise the largest portion of the debt --- are for money owed to long list of private companies, including merchandise suppliers, office supply vendors and construction firms.

Airport unaware of lien

Bankruptcy records indicate David Franklin's airport company grossed $2.96 million in 2004, $2.93 million in 2005 and had taken in $1.75 million by the time of its Aug. 14, 2006, bankruptcy filing.

Franklin lists the company's total assets at $314,923 and total liabilities of nearly $1.3 million in the filing.

Airport officials said they were unaware of the state lien against Franklin's company until a reporter made inquiries. The lien came to light when The Atlanta Journal-Constitution filed an open records request with the Department of Revenue for any unpaid taxes owed by Hartsfield-Jackson vendors.

"This issue with their [state] taxes is between them and state government," airport spokesman Herschel Grangent said. "As far as we know, they have met all their obligations to us."

Every year more than 85 million passengers pass through Hartsfield-Jackson --- the world's busiest airport --- spending millions of dollars on everything from food to T-shirts to luggage.

David Franklin's company was identified as having unpaid taxes during a sweep of airport vendors by the Revenue Department last year. Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham, who runs the department, declined to comment on specific cases but said in general of the liens, "We don't frivolously do this."



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