Warren County commissioners are attempting to retrieve $150,000 in property taxes owed on 202 Bell Street, the property recently purchased by the city of McMinnville.
According to county Trustee Darlene Bryant, she has been urging the county’s legal firm of Stanley & Bratcher to move on the issue and they have not.
“Whenever people don’t pay their taxes, I turn them into the Clerk and Master’s office and they have a tax sale,” said Bryant. “Well Metal Products has got, I think, five years behind. It wasn’t sold at a tax sale. It’s just sitting there. When I brought it up before, I was asked, “Why I was bringing this up?” I said ‘Because it’s $150,000 that the county would be getting if the county attorney would pursue it so it could be put in the sale. They didn’t do it. When I call, I get no response. They just ignore me.”
That property was recently sold to the city of McMinnville by Jim Dyer for $750,000. Bryant says she urged legal counsel to act before it was too late and they did not.
“It only appraised for $600,000 so they are making $150,000 more than what it was even appraised for,” said Bryant. “I sent another letter to the county attorney and said ‘Can we not do something, like put a lien on it? We need to do something to get our money when they sell that property.’ I still didn’t get a response.”
The information was presented to members of the county Budget and Finance Committee.
“I didn’t know if you would have better luck than I did,” said Bryant. “That’s money that could be coming to the county, if it hasn’t already changed hands."
Commissioner Diane Starkey said, “It doesn’t seem right, does it?”
“No, it doesn’t,” said Commissioner Terry Bell. “If we had a lien placed against it, we would have gotten $150,000.”
Committee members voted unanimously to instruct the county attorney to pursue retrieving the past due property taxes, or give them a reason as why they cannot.