State files lien against Shakespeare Festival

Aug. 09, 2013 @ 08:51 PM

A state employment agency filed a lien against the N.C. Shakespeare Festival for more than $12,000 in unpaid taxes.
An official with the festival said the nonprofit group plans to pay the amount due by the end of this month.
The N.C. Division of Employment Security, the state’s main job service agency, filed the lien last month for an unmet obligation of $12,249, according to a public notice. The Shakespeare Festival suspended operations as of July 31, citing debt and financial challenges. Pedro Silva, artistic and managing director of the festival, told The High Point Enterprise this week that its board is trying to reconstitute the group in a new format that could go forward in the future.
Silva said Friday, by email, that the debt to the Division of Employment Security “is part of a number of payables that will be paid fully by the end of the month, if not sooner.”
The festival is working out a payment plan with a representative of the state agency, Silva said.
“We know we will have the funds to clear all our payables by month’s end,” he told the Enterprise.
A representative with the Division of Employment Security in Raleigh couldn’t provide more details about the lien Friday afternoon.
The lien takes place against the backdrop of the Shakespeare Festival’s financial woes. The group’s most recent financial report — known as an Internal Revenue Service 990 filing — shows that the festival’s fiscal picture reversed in the space of a year.
In its 2010-11 fiscal year, the Shakespeare Festival reported revenue-less-expenses of $588,025. But by the 2011-12 fiscal year, the festival reported a loss of $153,012.
The Shakespeare Festival significantly expanded its payroll between the two fiscal years through the terms of a major private donation that totaled $1.37 million. Salaries, other compensation and employee benefits nearly doubled from $536,152 in the 2010-11 fiscal year to $1,001,256 in the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to the IRS financial filing.
pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528