Recently we posted information (Monday, July 6, 2009 titled "When was Soulard declared a Tax Haven? Nobody told Madame Chouteau" and Friday, July 31, 2009 titled "Update on Soulard as a Tax Haven and Our Apologies") about four bar/restaurants in Soulard that were in arrears in their property taxes but were still open, despite the City of St. Louis law which states that property taxes - and other taxes - must be paid up in order for a business to have a valid business license.
Well, we are happy to report that things have changed, in a St. Louis sort of way.
The good news is that McGurks-Soulard LLC, owner of record of the ground under John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub, 1200 Russell Blvd., finally paid their 2008 tax bill of $22,984.72. This was posted on 9/24/2009 on the web site of the Collector of Revenue. Anybody concerned about this late pay should remind themselves that James P. Holloran is listed as agent for the company, and he is a "mover and shaker" here in St. Louis. He is blue blood royalty for what passes as St. Louis society, so he pays his taxes when he damn well feels like it, and the rest of you can just bow and scrape and tug your respective forelocks when he passes..
Next, we turn to Nadine’s Gin Joint. Here we have some real St. Louis type progress. The tax problems, which our research showed and we reported as stretching over three years and amounting to $29,389.34, including penalties, were resolved when the property was sold. It appears that somebody in NTM Partnership LLC, listed as the previous owner, paid taxes and bought out some other owners.
The new owners, who call themselves Missouri Housing Assoc. LLC (created on 10/7/09) and who boast a mailing address at 74 Hester Ct., St. Charles, MO 63304, are listed on the Secretary of State’s web site as Gregory Stephen Wood, Nicole Marie Wood, Benjamin Aaron Scott and Kelly Ann Scott. The property, which had been subdivided under the ownership of NTM Partnership LLC, has the abbreviated property description of Nadine’s Kingdom Subdivision. While welcoming the Woods and Scotts to property ownership in Soulard, we wonder if they are going to change the subdivision description to Woods and Scotts Kingdom.
Interestingly, the new owners have created two parcels out of the property, dividing the tax bill into two pieces. The two tax bills were promptly paid by the new owners, which is a blessing, since the City of St. Louis needs every tax dollar it can get. Previously, we had though that the property had been a beneficiary of a tax cut. We were mistaken. Our apologies for the error, and congratulations to the new owners for paying on time.
From here, the news is not so good. Clementine Inc. owes taxes on 2001-2003 Menard for 2007, 2008 and 2009 in the amount of $15,653.36, as of 12/9/09 from the site of Gregory F. X. Daly, Collector of Revenue. But their doors are still open for business.
And, of course, our eternal favorite, Great Grizzly Blues LLC, owner of the building that homes the Great Grizzly Bear, owes $30,273.72 as of 12/9/09. They are in arrears all the way back to 2006, and there is evidence they also owe for 2005. The address of Great Grizzly Bear is 1027 Geyer. Assessor’s Office records list the owner/owners as living at 2 Clara Ave., Webster Groves, MO 63119. Everybody in Soulard is proud to have one of our bar properties owned by somebody from the county, even if they don’t pay their taxes. Us taxpayers really do not mind subsidizing their operation.
Still, we do not understand what is happening. So we have decided to e-mail some questions to the License Collector, Michael McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.. His web site states: "The City of St. Louis has a responsibility to maintain the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. Therefore, the Board of Aldermen and the Mayor enact ordinances that govern operations of businesses that impact the citizens of St. Louis City. State statues and City ordinances give the duty and responsibility to the License Collector of the City of St. Louis to enforce the business license ordinances and statutes."
From their actions - their failure to pay property taxes - Clementines and Great Grizzly are in violation of license requirements. Why are they still open, when their business license applications are defective? Why do you force the rest in the tax-paying community to subsidize their operations? Why are failing businesses - ones which cannot pay their bills - exempted from denial of a business license, while the City of St. Louis expects the rest of us to pay up? Do you not think this undermines confidence in the integrity and competence of City of St. Louis government? We will post any answers we receive from The Honorable Mr. McMillan.
But don’t take our word for any of this. Do your own research, and start by visiting http://stlcin.missouri.org/assessor/lookup.cfm, the site of the City of St. Louis Assessor’s Office. Enter an address and when the property comes up, click on "Tax History Information," which takes you to the page of Gregory F. X. Daly, Collector of Revenue. That page shows tax history, dates of payments and other information. And maybe send an e-mail to Michael McMillan, or Phyllis Young, or Mayor Slay. It is time we stopped being victimized by elected officials. It is time for elected officials to start listening to their respective oaths of office.