Fargo City Commissioner And Cass County Commissioner Candidate In Arrears On Property Taxes
The SAB Property Tax Hall of Shame inducted new members today, this time from Cass County. Thanks to another open records search, it has been discovered one county commission hopeful also has a penchant for non-payment of property taxes.
Marty Johnson of Horace, ND is one of seven candidates from District 5 in Cass County who will be on the ballot on Jun 12, and one of a total of 13 seeking a commission seat. He is also in debt to the county for two years of back taxes amounting to over $5,600. But his delinquency track record goes back as far as 2007, and maybe further considering the records requested only go back to that year.
Here is the run down:
Martin Johnson Property Taxes
2011: $3,665.05 owed, including $58.06 in Penalties – currently unpaid
2010: $3,862.21 owed, including $411.26 in Penalties and Interest – $2,018.62 currently unpaid
2009: $3,156.41 owed, including $574.40 in Penalties and Interest – Paid
2008: $3,884.38 owed, including $842.84 in Penalties and Interest – Paid
2007: $3,691.73 owed, including $822.66 in Penalties and Interest – Paid
In short, Johnson has an established history of major delinquencies on his tax payment record. While no payment dates for each year were provided in the records search, judging by the high levels of penalties and interest from 2007-2010 compared to the actual tax assessments, it is clear we are not just talking about a week or two in delinquency. Interest is generally not assessed until the taxes are over a year overdue, and of the $2,709.22 in penalties and interest total from 2007-2011, $1,561.24 (or 58%) was just interest on the debt. The years 2007 and 2008 showed $563.80 and 568.48 respectively of interest payments alone. When we are looking at these levels of interest payments, the time overdue was most likely quite extensive.
Fargo City Commissioner Tim Mahoney, who is not up for re-election this year, is also in arrears to Cass County in the amount of $8,147.65, including $121.90 in penalties.
Johnson and Mahoney join the SAB Property Tax Hall of Shame, alongside the following:
Forsman called his non-payment of two years of property taxes “an oversight” in a Grand Forks Herald article which ran today. He also stated he would be making good on his debt this week. Armstrong, Woodcox, and Schonert have not yet spoken publicly of their delinquencies, although they have been settled with the Burleigh County Auditor.
There certainly may be reasons for the delinquencies shown by these candidates, and may even be a chance those reasons are good. But, regardless of reason, our public officials (and those who want to be public officials) have a responsibility to first toe the line of responsible citizenship.
That is just part of setting the right example for the people you represent.
UPDATE: Coincidentally, in rechecking records online today, Mahoney’s tax bill was found to have now been paid. Johnson and Forsman still have not paid theirs.burleigh county, burleigh county commission, Donald Forsman, doug schonert, election 2012, Grand Forks, grand forks city council, jerry woodcox, mark armstrong, martin johnson, marty johnson, measure 2, North Dakota News, Politics, property taxes, tim mahoney