Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Delinquent and Uncollected Utah Property Taxes: A Brand New Discussion Thread

Ogden Valley Forum picks up the topic where we left off

For those following the reader discussion under Saturday's article, wherein the conversation morphed into an examination of the problem of delinquent and uncollected property taxes in Utah, we're pleased to provide a link to Ogden Valley Forum, where blogmeister Larry Zini has posted his own article, tackling the topic head on:
The Hidden Pain of Our Property Tax System
In addition to a concise summary of the nature of the problem, Mr. Zini reports on his so far unsuccessful efforts to bring the issue to the attention of Weber County officials, and provides further useful and informative links.

We urge those readers who are closely following this issue to check it out.


Pistol Pete said...

It is obvious the Weber County Commissioners don't want to hear about the the delinquent, uncollected taxes in Weber County! Jan Zogmaisters first response is typical of the knee jerk, defensive reaction of the Commissioners when flaws are discovered in the County's performance of duty.

Instead of responding that this is a terrible, unfair burden on our taxpayers, they try to blame the State Tax code. When that didn't work, they withdraw and become vague with no plan or public commitment to improve the situation.

Skeeter said...

This tax boondoggle revelation makes the Gondola and Godfrey issues look like small potatoes!

Where do we get these elect officials? Why aren't they looking out for us?

Curmudgeon said...


You ask: Where do we get these elected officials? Why aren't they looking out for us?

Well, in the case of the Weber County Commission, it is, in my view, no coincidence that the members are (a) all Utah Republicans --- a party which has proven itself over time eager to do the bidding of the realtors' lobby and associated interests (b) all from one party. One of the reason it is never good to have a regulatory body like the county commission entirely in the hands of one party is that there will be no one on the commission from the minority party keeping an eye on what the majority party is doing. Or in this case, not doing. [And yes, it would be the same if the commission was entirely Democratic. The people of Weber County would be best served in most cases by a commission containing two members of one party and one of the other.]

But the sheep keep returning the wolves to guard the flock, year after year after year, and all the wolves cozily from the same pack [so to speak]. And then the sheep wonder why they're not getting good government.

Supposedly, it was Albert Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. As long as the WC Commission is entirely in the hands of one party [either one], no one on the commission will be eager to blow the whistle on the other commissioners' skullduggery. And the Commissioners know this.

And the beat goes on....

Frankie Pepo said...

Ahhhh, there is nothing better than the smell of fresh Napalm in the air. The Weber County Commission is on fire and doesn't even know it.

You would think we would have brighter lights in those positions.

ozboy said...

Once again I say the commission doesn't want to address this "problem" because it is a profit center for the county.

I think the local governments, in concert with the state legislature that makes the rules, know full well what they are doing and look at this as a savings plan that pays better interest than any where else they can put the money. It of course also helps their buddies in the real estate and development game with below market commercial rates.

The interest they collect is pegged to the prime rate and always is quite a bit more than what the county can get with the normal "safe" places they park collected taxes that haven't been spent yet. Last year it was around 10% and this year it will be around 6.5%. In addition, the law allows them to do a tax auction after five years which prevents the total tax owed from becoming more than the underlying property is worth. So in the end the county always gets the money in this no risk high interest game they are playing and there is never any money left on the table that the on time payers lose.

Squirt said...

Ozboy, you probably right on about the profit motive. However, it is proper to point out that Weber County is not in business to make money, it is business to provide services and oversight to growth.

When the other taxpayers are acting as a lending agency for delinquent developers, it is time to end the madness.

If everyone paid their property taxes late like the delinquent payers, the cash flow to run the county would have serious impact on services. Why should any delinquent taxpayer get special treatment?

disgusted said...

its amazing how according to you the root of all problems are the republican party and anyone who is a member of it. like there are no good people in the republican party only bad people. only the good and rightous are in the democratic party like the governor from illinois.
curm you are a bigot and everytime you make your wild statements about how everything it the fault of the republican party you just simply prove to everyone that your are not as unbiased or neutral as you claim nor are you as smart as you want us all to believe.
btw gieger and gadi both owe back taxes as well.

Arlene said...

In going over the Weber County delinquent tax rolls for 2008 I noticed that "David Ernshaw" (D E Investments) was delinquent on 31 parcels that were in his name. The parcel numbers were all in descending order so they are apparently all in the same location.

I am curious if these are the apartments and commercial spaces in the Ernshaw building at the new Junction. If so, it could indicate that virtually none of the apartments in the building has been sold and are still in his name.

If this is the case I find it very interesting considering that the Mayor's and Mr. Ernshaw's propaganda over the last couple of years has been that all of the condos had been sold.

Can anyone clarify this and explain why they would claim that all of these units had been sold when apparently none of them has been? (assuming I have connected these dots correctly)

The building does appear to be completely empty with little or no action going on.

Also does any one know about all of the other apartments that Boyer and the City are building just east and south of the new theater - are they selling or renting, and when will they be finished?

There seems to be a big question mark surrounding the whole two blocks down there.

I saw this web site mentioned in the Standard Examiner and find it interesting. Hopefully some one here can answer these questions.

What will it costs us said...

If not paying property taxes is a money maker for the county why don't they have higher fines to make more money for the county.
Also is it true they are laying off County Sheriffs since they is a budget shortfall?

Frankie Pepo said...

The obvious answer to much of this is they are protecting the developer/builder interests. They are the real benefactors of this lack of collection policy.

The problem is compounded when the developer's sales drop (like right now) and so they continue to not pay these taxes and they make a sale. They then recover all of the interest and penalty by jacking up the price of the property they sell, and that in the long run will increase the property taxes for the surrounding homeowners.

We did hear that Sheriff Brad Slater may not fill five positions in the coming year.

Angry on time taxpayer said...

Interesting 2008 list of delinquent property taxes on the Weber County website

I don't have time to look around and see what has been paid or is still in arrears.

Irregardless of how you feel about how the various taxing entities handle property tax dollars, it is frustrating that most citizens pay their property taxes on time every year to provide funding for vital services in the communities where their properties are located. Yet year after year there is a long list (141 pages in 2008) of regular property owners, community boosters and developers in Weber County who don't feel obligated to pay their property taxes on time or at all in some cases.

Some interesting highlights from a long list of offenders:

Benlomond Hotel (2510 Washington LLC)

2444 Washington - sold to Thaine Fisher by Ogden City $12,316.57

Berthana LLC

DE Ogden Development (David Earnshaw) Multiple properties as mentioned earlier in this thread.

Brent Ferrin on many properties listed in Eden - he was the Park City developer who proposed grandiose plans for Powder Mountain in 2002

William W. Glasmann III

Curtis Geiger

Hub City Enterprises LLC (mailing address is home of Curtis Geiger)

London Connection LLC (Thomas Moore)

Miri Leshem Trustee (8 properties)
Miri Lishem Trustee (2 properties)
Miri Leshem Trust (2 properties)\
Ogden Riverfront Development (50 properties)

Randy Marriott (developer who blasted the North Ogden hillside for construction of homes and in the process caused cracks in foundations of nearby existing residences)
MWM UAD 1 31 07 c/o Marriott Construction (almost a full page of listings)

Newgate Mall LLC c/o Gart Sports the amount is significant at $50,377.02 but it is listed as paid on 1/18/09

Countless Nilson Homes properties

Countless Northern Real Homes

Ogden Community Foundation ($42,968.79- paid on 12/8/08 and 12/19/08)

Ogden City and Ogden Redevelopment Agency

Ogden Properties LLC
Ogden Properties II LLC c/o Scott Nichol (Windsor Hotel)
Ogden Properties V LLC

Various Opheikens properties (R&O Construction)

Sprint Nextel Corp (28 properties)

Towicks LLC (was under ownership of Val Southwick's Vescor Capital in previous years and is still listed at that address, only the name changed)

Union Grill and the Taco Maker on Harrison

Wadman Investments LLC ($11,884.34)

A long list of Wolf Creek Properties LC parcels

Curious 1 said...

Angry, can you find any of the mayors LLC's since he took his name off his rentals when he was looking like a slum lord. Any of his relatives behind in their taxes?
I have also heard that
"G" Train, Tom Moore, Godfey, Geigers and a few others meet every few weeks to discuss city issues. Anyone know if it is true and where they meet?

disgusted said...

Angry on time taxpayer

notice how that a lot of these delinquent tax payers are the same people that are trying to tell the rest of us that we are naysayers and how they say we have no vision.
these people not only try to change our quality of life but they also dont pay their own way.
remember that the next time you hear one of them try to tell you what is good for the community or what we should do with our tax money.

Skipper said...

Skipper said...
All of this can be confusing and hard to follow. It is apparent that the real beneficiaries of this almost Ponzi type scheme are the developers and builders in Utah.

How this collection or better yet, non-collection process works for them is as follows:

The do not pay their property taxes and the current County collection procedures provide them over 4 years to do that before the foreclosure process can begin.

They invest the money that should have been paid in taxes in some growth investment that adds to their cache amount. (Now the County will tell you that during this time they pay a 2% penalty and about 6% in interest on the delinquent taxes when they do sell the property) That may be true, but the developer just puts the additional cost of the penalty and interest in to the sale price of the property and therefore recovers everything they spent on penalty and interest at sale.

The bottom line result is they have operated without paying property taxes for this time period (1-4 years) on the "credit" supplied by the County collection procedures (ie: the taxpayers back), they have sold the property and not really paid any penalty for late taxes, and at the same time made money on the investment of what should have been paid in property taxes during that period.

It is obvious that this is a super deal for these developers and builders or they wouldn't consider paying the penalty or interest on these taxes.

The final blow to taxpayers is the land that is sold has increased in price, and that increase works its way into the tax evaluation process and will raise property taxes in the surrounding area.

The other taxpayers that pay on time are getting whacked both ways by this process in Weber County. The County and others will tell you this is good deal for all. Not so, it is good deal for everyone except the on time taxpayers.

Noni said...

Has anyone but me noticed that the County Commissioners have not even acknowledged that
this cache of uncollected and delinquent money exist?

I wold like to hear their plan to resolve this issue and very quickly. We are probably looking at tax increases in the near future and this money could delay or slow them down.

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