More than $350,000 in unpaid taxes on annual sale

Hunter Farms dispute has huge impact on sale

Greene County treasurer Donna Lawson is preparing for a delinquent tax sale unlike any others held in Greene County. This year’s sale includes 372 parcels, nearly double the number in a typical year. Of those, 162 parcels are owned by Hunter Farms or Hunter of Iowa. The bill owed by Hunter Farms/Hunter of Iowa is about $100,000 of the $350,000 total unpaid property taxes.

Lawson said she’s been told not to expect payment of the Hunter Farms tax bill prior to the June 20 tax sale.

The unpaid property tax bill is a result of legal wrangling between brothers Robert P. Hunter, Gary G. Hunter and Richard N. Hunter over the property of Hunter of Iowa (a corporation) and Hunter Farms (a partnership). At stake is ownership of 6,193 acres in Greene County and more in Guthrie County.

Each of the brothers owns a one-third share. Robert and Gary Hunter are seeking to sell all assets, including real estate, to dissolve the business relationship. They entered into an agreement to sell Hunter of Iowa assets to Missouri-based JMJ Land Company LLC for more than $61 million. Richard Hunter got an injunction in district court against the sale.

The case was recently transferred to Iowa’s business court. There is no date yet for a decision in the case.

At the annual tax sale bidders “purchase” unpaid tax bills with interest and costs. The bidders pay the total bill. The owner of the property has 21 months to pay the overdue taxes, with 2 percent interest per month added to the bill. The property owner can “redeem” the property by paying the overdue taxes and interest. The bidder then is refunded the money paid at the tax sale, along with the monthly interest.

If the property owner doesn’t redeem the property, the bidder can start a process to claim the deed for the property. For more information, visit www.iowatreasurer.org

Most years, there are fewer than a dozen bidders and the sale is held in the board room on the second floor of the courthouse.

Lawson told the county supervisors on Monday that she is preparing for many more bidders and she’s looking for more space. The courtroom is not available that morning, she said. She’s considering the east assembly room at the courthouse or an outside venue.

Bidders must register for the sale by 4:30 pm the prior Thursday, June 16. A decision about the location of the sale will be made at that time.

The complete list of delinquent taxes, provided by The Scranton Journal, is under the Calendar/Agenda tab at GreeneCountyNewsOnline.

 

 

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