Property Tax Dilemma - Solved
Photo: Video by kmir6.com
CREATED Jul. 2, 2013
A Palm Desert man is stuck in a property tax nightmare.
He sold the land to the city of Palm Desert in 2002, but now a decade later Riverside County says he still has unpaid taxes from before that property sold.
He asked KMIR6 to investigate this decade-old tax dilemma.
Robert Scott sold this land to the city of Palm Desert more than a decade ago to become a park.
"Later that year we received a notification that taxes were due on the property," said Scott.
Scott says he paid the final property taxes in escrow.
"I did make a call on them, and spoke with someone and they said it was all taken care of."
After that, Robert Scott didn't worry about the tax issue, thinking it was over.
More than a decade later, he got a notice again however, about this property that he sold to Palm Desert, Palma Village Park.
"When we received notification that liens had been placed on all of our properties now and in the future," said Scott.
What had been a little more than 100 dollar tax, had ballooned to nearly 2,000 dollars in penalties and interest for the last decade.
"It was hard to believe, quite frankly," said Scott.
For half a year, Scott has been trying to fix the tax dilemma.
"I then went to the city of Palm Desert and spoke with the powers to be there, and they were very sympathetic, and really they've done a marvelous job in trying to correct this situation," said Scott.
The city of Palm Desert told us, yes, Scott paid all the final property taxes in escrow.
"Unfortunately there was a minor adjustment that should have been credited to the county for those property taxes that were due basically for 18 days between the time of January 1st and January 18th when we still did not own the property, so we collected the property taxes, at the time we should have forwarded those over to the county," said Palm Desert's Director of Economic Development, Martin Alvarez.
In March, Palm Desert tried to fix the problem by sending a letter and check to the county treasurer.
"We actually forwarded some funds to accommodate the property taxes that were due, and we have not received a response from the county yet," said Alvarez.
Scott wants this decades old mistake fixed.
"There are liens on everything I own, it isn't just a particular piece of property, but every piece of personal property, or anything I might purchase in the future. So I'd like this taken care of before it's too late," said Scott.
Well, we have good news for you Mr. Scott.
We contacted the county last week.
On Monday, we heard back from the Riverside County Treasurer.
He told us they spoke with Palm Desert earlier in the day and the city has a small balance left to pay, but the interest and penalties will be dropped.
As for Mr. Scott, the Treasurer told us the liens will be removed from his properties, and he will owe this tax no longer.