Company working out $48,000 delinquent Fox Point tax bill

Former CFO blamed for missing paperwork

Nov. 21, 2012

Fox Point - Efforts to obtain nearly $48,000 in delinquent taxes from a local business are ongoing in Fox Point.

At a meeting last week, the Village Board received a report from Village Treasurer John George on Asset Development Group, 8050 N. Port Washington Road. The firm has an outstanding bill of $47,926, going as far back as 2008.

The board went into closed session with Village Attorney Eric Larson to discuss its options, including possible litigation against the firm. Village President Mike West said no action was taken after coming out of closed session.

Asset Development, a property management firm, has paid its 2010 and 2011 taxes. But outstanding issues from 2008 and 2009 remain, with unpaid portions and accruing interesting continuing.

Fox Point's assessor, Fred Matthes, did not receive a statement of personal property - a form used to determine the full value of the firm's tangible assets during the two-year period under scrutiny. For this reason, Matthes affixed a so-called doomage assessment on the property that follows state statutes.

"Mr. Matthes made numerous calls through the years to try to get the firm to file the proper forms without success," George said. "I also on a regular basis sent the firm monthly delinquency letters with no response."

Due to the failure to file the proper paperwork during the two-year period, Asset Development was assessed a far larger amount in 2008 and 2009 - $522,800 and $668,800, respectively - compared to later years when the proper forms were filed.

In 2010, Asset Development's assessed value was $96,900 and in 2011 it was $85,600.

James McKevitt, who recently assumed the role of Asset Development's chief financial officer, blamed past mismanagement for the improper protocol. The firm's former CFO was accused of embezzlement.

"We are trying to address this," McKevitt said. "We'd like to move on."

Dirk Hausmann, vice president and general counsel at Asset Development, said the firm has acknowledged the past problems and is rebuilding.

"This is one of several problems that have been on our plate," Hausmann said of the delinquent taxes. "It's not the character of the company to just ignore this sort of thing."

McKevitt recently sent the village a $7,157 check with a request it be considered payment in full for the remaining balance. He said the figure was based out of a calculation that took into account the lowest assessed rate over a four-year period.

Based on his knowledge, Larson said he did not believe there was a way to simply write off the outstanding amount owed.

"There is not an opportunity to just make it go away," he said. "I'm not aware of any statutory mechanism."

George said Asset Development's $7,157 check has yet to be cashed. Further discussion about the outstanding balance could take place at future board meetings.

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