Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Official...News-Sentinel is Potentially Non-Compliant

Brian's Blog is the ONLY media in East Tennessee that has reported that the News-Sentinel is in potential non-compliance with it's PILOT (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes). Today at the County Commission a report was given by Dale Baker of Tax Management Associates of Mt. Juliet, TN. He discussed that at this point in his firms review of the PILOT's. They have examined 10 of 26 PILOT's. They began in March of 2008, 6 of the 10 real property PILOT's are in compliance. 4 of the 10 reviews of real and tangible property reviews are at this point in non-compliance. They are non-compliant due to failure of filing a proper assets inventory report.

Mr. Baker indicated that letters have been sent to the four entities that a review of their PILOT's is being investigated and additional information is needed. Mr. Baker said that within two weeks he will contact the four entities and schedule financial reviews. He anticipates within 30 days finalizing the review.

The four companies are. Bush Brothers - their PILOT agreement has expired. However, if they are found in non-compliance. Remedies could be sought. Knoxville News-Sentinel - is lacking a filing of real and tangible personal property filing. Exedy - a real and tangible personal property filing. Crippen/Jackson - (JSwiss) - real and tangible personal property filing is lacking. This PILOT agreement expired on 12/31/2007. However, should a non-compliance be found. Remedies could be sought. These filings should have a tangible personal property inventory continually filed.

Todd Napier of Knox Chamber Partnership rose and spoke to Commission saying that the IDB is the support staff for PILOT's and they perform a yearly compliance review on each PILOT. Commissioner Moore asked Mr. Napier. so if these entities were not filing the proper paperwork than that falls into the review and responsibilty of the IDB. Napier said that with the Bush Brothers. The IDB Compliance Committee said that they were satisfied and it was determined that they (Bush Bros.) did what they said they would do. Commissioner Moore said that he had a conversation with members of the IDB and they indicated that there were problems. Napier agreed and said that there were issues but the committee felt it had been resolved.

Sources close to this situation indicated to Brian's Blog that when the old News-Sentinel site on Church Street was sold to Robert Talbot there were back property taxes owed on the property. Also, News-Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy disclosed on his blog on August 16, 2007 that he failed to timely pay his property taxes on his personal residence. So, the News-Sentinel failed to pay their property tax on the Church Street property. They fail to file their PILOT filing in a timely manner. So far, they are not very good corporate citizens and the Editor does not have a good history as well.

So, now we may know why the News-Sentinel did not initially investigate and report the delinquent property taxes of the News Sentinel Charity President Foster Arnett and other Sentinel endorsed candidates for elective offices. It should be noted that following the Brian's Blog report of the delinquent property taxes of Foster Arnett. They wrote a story buried in the back of the local section.

Here are the links to previous reports by Brian's Blog about the News-Sentinel's inability to comply with the PILOT requirements.

August 24, 2008 - News Sentinel In Violation of It's PILOT

July 26, 2008 - News Sentinel Lays Off High Paid Employees

July 26, 2008 - News Sentinels Pilot, Victor Ashe and Endorsements

July 24, 2008 - Are McElroy and Hartmann and E.W. Scripps

July 20, 2008 - News Sentinel Fails To Keep It's PILOT.

Here is the link to News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy's post.

August 16, 2007 - The Upfront Page blog post of News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy and by News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy about his failure to pay his personal property taxes on time.

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