Action 9 helps woman living in motel save nearly $800 in sales tax

Action 9 helps woman living in motel save nearly $800 in sales tax

PINEVILLE, N.C. — Barbara Sutton said her daughter lost her job and couldn’t afford her apartment anymore so she moved to the Extended Stay America in Pineville.

“She was very depressed because she’s 31 years old and it’s like she’s starting all over again,” Sutton said.

North Carolina law says that if you stay in the same hotel or motel for 90 days straight, all under your name, you don’t have to keep paying sales tax and the business has to refund the sales tax you already paid. If it doesn’t give that money back, tell the business in writing. The business has 60 days to respond.

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If that doesn’t work, report the business to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office and the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Sutton said her daughter stayed at the Extended Stay America more than 100 days and that the business was forthcoming.

Sutton told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke it contacted her daughter and told her it owed her sales tax back. But she said the business only gave her daughter about $350.

“And I knew it should have been more than that,” Sutton said.

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Sutton tried to get to the bottom of it, but couldn’t. “So, ok, it’s time to try Jason [Stoogenke],” Sutton said she told herself.

Action 9 emailed Extended Stay America.

It’s not clear what the problem was, but the company said, “Extended Stay America has a process in place to fulfill eligible tax refund requests. We are committed to caring for our guests and look forward to welcoming them for affordable short- and long-term stays.”

It also said, “We resolved the situation and issued a refund along with an apology for any confusion.”

“Within two days, I got an email saying you’re now being refunded $773,” Sutton said. “Every penny mattered. A meal or not a meal. That was the difference.”

Sutton’s daughter found a new job -- in retail -- and found a more permanent place to live.