Friday, December 11, 2009

Soulard: The Tax Haven Revisited

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 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, 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.


Anonymous said...

Madame Chouteau: It's totally amazing that for the umpteenth years that I lived in Soulard as a property owner I had to pay annual taxes. At one point, the City of St. Louis was going to put my property at auction. I can't believe these slobs get away with it. What can be done?

engineerboots47 said...

"Soulard: The Tax Haven Revisited" does not contain anything that surprises me. City government has a long history of playing favorites. Many of the bars and restaurants of Soulard have never practiced being good neighbors to the neighborhood's residents, and now we have proof that the city condones their poor habits by supporting the lack neighborliness of the community. I really don't expect to hear from any city official on the questions put to them in the article. After all, they do have a constitutional right not to incriminate themselves.

Anonymous said...

I cannot possibly think about how miserable your life must be to hide behind the computer shelling out hate and negativity. If you want to report tax information report tax information but to make it personal and make assumptions about someone's business is not only ignorant but unproductive.

So you make your assumptions that Nadine's is a "floundering" bar based on her sales numbers? I wasn't aware she had made those public. Or perhaps it is just based on your blatant ignorance and hate? Nadine did not sell all of her property. The taxes were paid when a section of the building was sold, the apartments behind the restaurant.

Nadine's Gin Joint is not a tenant of the new owners you listed. You should check your facts before publicly bashing someone. No one bought out other owners. Nadine is the sole owner of Nadine's Gin Joint and has been for many years. Perhaps the use of the word "kingdom" was a light hearted joke? You know, by someone with a sense of humor? As someone hiding behind the persona of a woman, it seems a little silly to criticize others choices for names.

As a Soulard resident AND business owner I have had the privilege of getting to know Nadine. The Nadine I know works seven days a week, twelve hours a day. She selflessly makes donations to charities and other businesses in the neighborhood. Where were you on Thanksgiving? Nadine was feeding people, FOR FREE. Providing a place to for folks to gather and be a little less alone on the holiday. She’ll be there again on Christmas, as she has been for nearly a decade.

I’d strongly suggest that you spend a little more time doing research for your “articles” and perhaps if you did something nice, instead of something hateful, you’d feel a little better and not so grumpy.

Anonymous said...

Hateful ? Deadbeats not paying their taxes ? By the way, all this is public record so no one "snooped" into anyones personal lives.

Another story that needs to be written is about people living in St. Louis city (and Soulard) with Illinois license plates. This tax shirker make life more difficult and expensive for those of us who pay personal property taxes. Some of us asked the city Collector of Revenue Francis Xavier Daly about this, recently at a political event for Ken Ortman, and it was obvious he wasnt't doing a thing about this. Another city official shirking their job. In one area around Pontiac Park, a couple of years ago, the Illinois plates must have been over 20%. Do the math - we're talking about millions of lost dollars.

The next time the city wants a tax increase, lets remind them of this and our bars tax problems.

Anonymous said...

I never suggested that anyone "snooped." Those were your words. I am more than fine with posting information that is public. My point was that I think it's important to post factual information and the information regarding the building in which Nadine's Gin Joint is located being sold is not factual information. Also referring to her business as "floundering" is not a fact either it is an opinion.

Anonymous said...

Madame Chouteau:

Thank goodness Soulard had somebody like you who is interested enough in the neighborhood to give us the real news about what is happening in the neighborhood.

If one gets information only from our "Soulard Renaissance" newspaper one would think that we live in a paradise of party, party, party.

Thanks for keeping us informed with information some people want to keep hidden.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The city allowing businesses to get away with not paying taxes not only hurts individual residents but other business in the city.

It is unbelievably hard to start a small business in St. Louis. The taxes are so high owners often times struggle to make profit from all of their hard work.

A city needs taxes from small businesses in order to survive. When they allow some businesses to operate without paying taxes they are forcing the other businesses who are honest to pick up their burden.

This in return makes it impossible for new businesses to run in this city and also collapses the revenue model for St. Louis.

Without taxes from businesses the city has trouble paying a proper police force, fixing roads and water and sewer lines.

How can the city continue to allow this to happen?

willson said...
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