The debts to the Government of the City of Buenos Aires
Between 1991 and 1993, when its registered name was still Bauen SACIC, the business fell into debt to the City of Buenos Aires for non-payment of taxes on gross income (II.BB.) and for fees for streetlights, street sweeping, and maintenance (ABL) for the sum of AR$794,640.54.
To deal with this debt, the business accepted a payment plan, as recorded in the General Directorate of Rents of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires (GCBA).1 However, it never completed it.
Because of this, the GCBA filed suit on December 4, 1994, through its lawyer, Ricardo Damonte, who requested that, as a first step, the limitation of the debt be suspended, as the law allows. Damonte stated in the suit:
The omission of the payment of taxes is worse than noncompliance with a private debt, in that in the latter, the interest of an individual is affected, and, in the former, the good of the community.
On the basis of this, he asked the court to issue a guilty sentence and order the payment of the amount owed plus compensatory interest, punitive fees, and costs.
After several legal maneuvers, in December 1998, the business asked for a change of jurisdiction. This again delayed everything until March 14, 2001, when Damonte requested the decree be executed2 and Bauen SACIC be ordered to pay. On March 16, the Judicial Power of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires ordered payment of the debt in five days, plus an additional 30% for interests and costs.
The attorneys of the Iurcoviches again appealed to judicial trickery, ignoring the debt and claiming that there was insufficient proof to prove the case, making an Olympic effort to ignore a prior report from the Directorate of Rents issued November 10, 1997, in which it was clear that the business accepted a payment plan. On April 4, 2001, they tried an even more unusual manuever: the legal representative of the Iurcoviches, Santiago Giordano, alleged that the debt had been regularized in a later payment plan, and requested that the costs of the trial be paid by the plaintiff, which is to say, the GCBA.3 In reality, and as Damonte would demonstrate, the lawyer of the business had not presented any documentation of the supposed arrangement.
- Decree 91/93, Application N° 77134.↩
- Exp. N°63343/98.↩
- “Request made to nullify legal action linked to tax procedures according to File EJF 63343, which processes the Administrative and Tax Contention Law, Court 2 Secretary 3.” Pages 19 and 20 of the acting judge on charging ABL owed to the GCBA by Bauen SACIC.↩