Cape's Town Plaza on county tax sale list; owners plan to pay before Aug. 27 sale

Thursday, August 16, 2012

After two years of unpaid property taxes, the Town Plaza Shopping Center is on Cape Girardeau County Collector Diane Diebold's tax sale list.

Its owners, St. Louis-based Greater Missouri Builders, say they intend to pay the $136,839 owed in back taxes, interest and penalties before the Aug. 27 tax sale.

"We're not willing to let the property go," said Dan Barnard, president of Greater Missouri Builders, which owns shopping centers in Missouri and Illinois.

Barnard said "major corporate reasons" kept them from making previous tax payments but that he now plans to make the tax payment.

"The Town Plaza is doing very well for us," Barnard said. "It's been a good property for us, and the tenants like what we've done with it for the last four years."

Nearly every retail space in the 16-acre property is leased out, he said.

According to county records, Greater Missouri Builders owes $73,545 in taxes, interest and penalties from 2010 and $63,221 in back taxes, interest and penalties from 2011.

Property taxes when paid are divided among several local entities. The largest portion goes to the local school district, which has a tax rate of $4.15 per $100 assessed valuation. In the case of Greater Missouri Builders, $77,213 of the taxes the company owes were to go to the Cape Girardeau School District.

Other tax rates for properties in Cape Girardeau are:

* General revenue 30.18 cents per $100 assessed valuation;

* Health, 5.65 cents;

* Library, 31.12 cents;

* County mental health, 7.7 cents;

* Senate Bill 40, 3.85 cents; and

* Senior services, 4.78 cents.

Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO John Mehner said businesses may not pay property taxes on time for a variety of reasons.

"Sometimes there are corporate reasons for not paying those bills until it is absolutely necessary for the them to be paid," Mehner said. "We may not like the reason or agree with the reason, but usually there is a reason."

At times, businesses could be involved in disputes or court cases and won't pay taxes until the dispute is settled. In some cases, a business may not pay its taxes because it is positioning itself to sell and trying to keep cash on hand, or a business may be hurting and not have the cash to pay the tax bill.

River City Health Clinic at 224 N. Frederick St. in Cape Girardeau is another business listed for tax sale. The clinic owes $37,466, according to county records. Clinic administrator Rhonda Seiler said she has made arrangements to take care of the tax bill.

Mehner said in most cases when a business is listed for tax sale, the back taxes are paid before the property is auctioned.

Property owners still have time to pay the delinquent taxes and retain their property before the Aug. 27 sale.

Bidding will start at the amount of taxes owed.

Even though the parcels are sold during the auction, the original owner has up to one year to pay and retain the property. He or she must pay the sale price plus interest to the person who bought the property at the auction.

Amounts paid over the total of taxes owed are considered surplus and may be claimed by the property's new owner at the county treasurer's office for up to three years. If a tax sale surplus is not claimed, it is then distributed to local schools.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent address:

224 N. Frederick St, Cape Girardeau, MO

2136 William St., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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