Dem House Candidate Gulleson Accumulated Over $38,000 In Fines For Chronically Late Property Tax Payments
Democrat House candidate Pam Gulleson has cited in her campaign advertising and literature the farming business she and her husband maintain. “Family farming continues to be the primary work of Pam and Bill, her husband of nearly 30 years, who are partners in a farm and ranching business with their sons near Rutland, North Dakota,” reads Gulleson’s bio on her campaign website. “The fifth-generation family farm raises corn, beans, and alfalfa, and operates a cattle feedlot.”
But according to records obtained from Sargent County for property listed as owned by William and/or Pamela Gulleson, tax payments on both residential property and land used in their farming/ranching business were chronically late, racking up tens of thousands of dollars in fees.
From 1990 through 2005 fees associated with late payment on taxes for these properties totaled $38,211.39.
For many assessment years there was as much as a five year delay in paying the taxes. For instance, taxes owed on the properties for 1991 which totaled $10,572.59 for all the properties in Sargent County that year were paid for most of the properties in 1994 with two of the properties not getting payment until 1996. This accumulated a total of $2,008.48 in late payment fines for that year alone.
The total taxes paid on these properties between 1990 and 2005 totaled $187,991.64, with the fees assessed for late payments representing more than 20% of that total. During much of the time Gulleson was accumulating these fines she was serving as a member of the North Dakota legislature, representing District 26, as well as a staff member for former Senator Byron Dorgan.
There were no fines associated with late payments found in records beyond 2005. The county only maintains property tax payments records back to 1990, so we were unable to determine if this problem with late payments existed previous to that year.
Under current law in North Dakota, property for which property tax payments are more than three years delinquent can be seized and sold by the state. Prior to 2007, property could be seized after five years of non-payment. Per the records obtained, it appears as though several properties owned by the Gullesons came within months of seizure before taxes were paid.
Below is a break down of late fees assessed to the Gullesons for property in Sargent County by year: