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Utah's tallest building, the outgoing mayor of its largest city and the Utah Jazz's biggest star all appeared on the lists of people who did not pay property tax on time in 2015.
But they all said it was a mistake or misunderstanding, similar to what many others say who land on those lists published online by counties.
Tallest • The Wells Fargo Center the state's tallest building at 422 feet, 2 feet taller than the LDS Church Office Building appeared on the Salt Lake County delinquency list for supposedly failing to pay $2.34 million on time. It owed more money, by far, than any other tax delinquent on the online lists.
But, "Ours was actually paid on time. The county lost our check," said Jenny Lindsley, manager of Wasatch Plaza Holdings, the owner of the 24-story tower that houses numerous law and financial firms and the KUTV studios.
"The check really was in the mail, and we have a report we sent to them so they have proof of it," Lindsley added. "They have a replacement check now. We pay on time every year."
Mayor • Outgoing Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker was on the list for a mere $59.97.
He said his wife set up an electronic payment for $5,997 in property taxes on their home that the county should have received on or before the Nov. 30 deadline but the county said it arrived late on Dec. 1. "So they charged us the $60 late fee," or 1 percent of the total original bill.
Becker said the county told him it would waive the late fee if he could come up with proof that it was sent on time, "such as a postmark." But they had made the payment electronically, and had a hard time coming up with proof of the time it was sent.
"So after trying for a while without success, we said to hell with it, and decided to pay the penalty," the mayor said.
Star delinquent • Utah Jazz basketball star Gordon Hayward the highest paid player on the team at an estimated $15.4 million this year appears on the list for $6,600 in late taxes and penalties on his home (valued at $689,600) in Sandy.
Scott Thompson, controller for Priority Sports & Entertainment, Hayward's agent, sent an email to The Tribune saying, "I just spoke with Gordon's financial advisors regarding this matter. This was a miscommunication between Gordon and his advisor," and he said the late payment had just been sent.
It was the second straight year that Hayward appeared on the list of delinquents.
Last year, he appeared for $6,866 in taxes on the same house that he and his wife had bought just a few months previously. His agent said then that the escrow company made a clerical mistake and didn't pay it on time.
At the close of a house sale, the buyer and seller usually divide the year's estimated property tax based on how long they each would own it and the amount is placed in escrow. The escrow company is then supposed to pay the property tax.
Analysis totals • The Tribune analyzed, as it does annually, online property tax delinquency lists in urban Salt Lake, Utah, Davis and Weber counties.
The analysis found they listed a combined $65.45 million in late 2015 taxes and penalties on a total of 34,855 parcels of property. Such taxes go to fund local school districts, cities, counties, water districts and other local governments.
Taxes are due every year on Nov 30. Those who are late must pay a 1 percent penalty. If the tax is not paid by Jan. 31, the penalty increases to 2.5 percent and interest is assessed which will be 7 percent for late 2015 taxes.
If taxes are delinquent and unpaid for five years, counties auction off the property to collect the taxes owed.
Elected duo • Few elected officials were found on the list this year (usually far more end up there) and their reasons for appearing likely mirror what happened to others.
State Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, appeared for a mere $35.42 for a tiny slice of land just .03 acres that she and her husband own adjacent to a larger parcel where their house sits.
"The mortgage company forgot about it," said David Hollins, the lawmaker's spouse. "I'll get on the phone with them right now." Most people have their property taxes paid by mortgage companies that hold money in escrow for the payments.
David Mock, the husband of Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, appeared on the list for $5,143 on some undeveloped land. Arent said the land is owned by a trust created by her husband's family, mostly his siblings, and he is listed on records as the trustee. Arent herself has no personal ownership in it.
She said the family trust is working with a developer, which had urged holding off paying the property tax in hopes of paying it later as it is developed. However, she said the trust now plans to pay the taxes shortly.
Developers • Delaying tax payments has been and still is a common practice by developers. They often delay paying on land until it is sold to avoid tying up their cash, and some developers openly view the penalty and interest they pay as a sort of cheap, automatic loan for their businesses.
(Other businesses sometimes do that, too. Last year, Salt Lake County Councilman Sam Granato said he intentionally delayed paying $21,183 in tax on a delicatessen he owns. He said he used that as an affordable loan to buy $20,000 worth of deli meats for his food-importing business and did pay his tax bill later in the year.)
The Tribune analysis for 2015 found at least $12.3 million in late taxes and penalties by developers. That amounted to about $1 of every $5 in delinquent property tax in the four Wasatch Front counties.
Top 10 • Two developers made the list of top 10 property tax delinquents. SK Gordon Developments finished No. 8 on the list, owing $146,984 on undeveloped property in Salt Lake County. Rosegate Associates finished No. 10 for the new Rosegate development in Draper, which owes $134,025.
Others among the top 10 were, in order, the Wells Fargo Center; TEM properties (for a SupraNaturals building in Springville), $261,022 this year and $731,573 owed for past years' taxes; First Industrial (for a large industrial building/warehouse in Salt Lake City), $254,821; and Anesta Corp. (pharmaceutical company in Salt Lake City), $194,939.
Also in the top 10 were Westinghouse Electric (industrial building in Weber County), $173.478; Legacy Crossroads Theater in Layton, $168,736; Dickson Properties (for the Blendtec building in Orem), $165,847; and Rocky Mountain Recycling in Salt Lake City, $138,656.
Prominent • Several other widely known businesses, or other interesting properties, appear on tax-delinquency lists.
Smith's Food and Drug Centers is on them for a store on Harrison Boulevard in Ogden for $80,907, and another store in North Ogden for $52,852.
A third Smith's listed as owned separately by Welby Market LLC on 90th South in West Jordan is also listed for $86,070.
A J.C. Penney store at The District in South Jordan is listed as owing $120,672.
Salt Lake Regional Medical Center is on the list for $96,840, owed for a slice of property at its hospital complex in Salt Lake City. Murdock Hyundai of Lindon is listed as owing $48,164.
Numerous hotels are on the list, including: a Super 8 (owned by SLC Inn LLC) at the International Center, owing $88,938; another Super 8 (owned by MAA BYU Hospitality LLC) in Provo, owing $47,420; a Baymont Inn & Suites (owned by SLC Hospitality Services) in Murray, $50,803; a Motel 6 (owned by HK Hospitality) in South Salt Lake, owing $35,183; Dream Inn in Salt Lake City, $16,381; Day's Inn of Lehi, $13,710; Zion's Motel in Salt Lake City, $8,775; and Wasatch Inn in Salt Lake City, $5,296.
Some amusement parks or entertainment centers also appear.
That includes: the Syracuse Family Fun Center, $89,832; part of Cowabunga Bay in Sandy, $46,272; and a slice of property at Raging Waters in Salt Lake City, $26,295.
Finally, it may seem unusual, but some mortuaries are on the possible deadbeat lists.
Garner Funeral Home (owned by Salt Lake City Memorium LLC) in Salt Lake City is listed as owing $64,592; Premier Funeral Services in Roy owed $4,575; and Starks Funeral Parlor in Millcreek is on the list for a mere $78.
Top 10 tax delinquents, 2015
Groups that had the largest property tax bills not paid on time, although some dispute that:
Wells Fargo Center • (state's tallest building, owned by Wasatch Plaza Holdings): $2.34 million.
TEM properties (for a SupraNaturals building in Springville): $261,022.
First Industrial • (for a large industrial building/warehouse in Salt Lake City): $254,821.
Anesta Corp. • (pharmaceutical company in Salt Lake City): $194,939.
Westinghouse Electric • (industrial building in Weber County): $173.478.
Legacy Crossroads • Theater in Layton: $168,736.
Dickson Properties • (for the Blendtec building in Orem): $165,847.
SK Gordon Developments • (undeveloped property in Salt Lake County): $146,984.
Rocky Mountain Recycling • in Salt Lake City: $138,656.
Rosegate Associates • (development in Draper): $134,025.
Source: Salt Lake Tribune analysis of tax delinquency lists in Salt Lake, Utah, Davis and Weber counties.