BRANDON, Fla. (FOX 13) - Little league baseball players in Brandon just want to play ball, but because of financial woes tournament game are out of the question.
South Brandon Sports hasn't been able to play in tournaments because they can't pay entry fees. They are also struggling to keep up maintenance on the field. They say this is all because prior boards didn't pay required taxes.
Board president Kelli Vanduyn says it's all about the kids.
"There's nothing better than to come out to a ball park," Vanduyn said. "And see fields full of kids having a good time."
Money is now getting in the way of having a good time after the league's bank account was cleaned out by the Florida Department of Revenue, withdrawing more than $8,000 in back taxes.
The department told Vanduyn they took the money because the league’s boards from the previous three seasons didn’t pay required sales tax.
"I really didn't have any idea," Vanduyn said. "They weren't paying their sales tax."
Vanduyn recently took over as president after the entire board abruptly quit last season. She's now among about a half dozen parents who have banded together to serve as the new board so their kids can simply play ball.
"It should have been done," board member Michael O'Quinn said. "The right way the entire time."
Money is now extremely tight and there is little to go around. Their chalk supply to mark the fields is depleting and there is not enough to last them through the season.
"We're going to be struggling to get clay to make the fields safer,” Vanduyn said.
League necessities are now solely being funded from the small amount of money generated from concession sales.
"It's kind of rough," Vanduyn said. "I feel like I just let everybody down and I didn't even have anything to do with happened."
Now she's trying her best to make ends meet and wishing the situation was handled more responsibly.
"They need to get a hold of the Department of Revenue," Vanduyn said. "And figure this out and straighten this out."
Currently, there is no criminal investigation into the back taxes not being paid. We reached out to the Department of Revenue for comment and are still waiting to hear back.
Right now, the league is continuing to raise money through sponsorships, hoping they will have enough to play in at least one tournament before the season ends.