March 19, 2004
Four candidates call
for resignation of North Richland Hills Mayor over what they
claim is his company's failure to pay taxes.
Four candidates for city council send a letter to Mayor Oscar Trevino. The
letter was accompanied by an email to the editor stating
that "We validated the data with Tarrant Appraisal
District by two separate calls to appraisers. We have
found that JL Steel has paid no business personal property taxes
in Tarrant County since 1996. We have also found that Tarrant
County taxing entities do not receive revenue transfers from
Denton County where JL Steel has filed and paid taxes."
Emails to the Editor, Click Here
following is a copy of the letter supplied by the candidates:
Dear Mayor Trevino,
This is an open letter concerning what we consider to be a critical and urgent matter.
Under the city charter for North Richland Hills, a candidate may only run for office
if he or she is not delinquent in property taxes to the city.
While we are not professional investigators, we are candidates for public office who
are running against well established incumbents. As such, we feel it is our responsibility
to “know our opponents”.
It was reported to us that J.L. Steel, LP was delinquent on taxes in Denton County.
We believe that this is a true situation and while it does not technically violate the NRH
City Charter, it certainly speaks badly for your handling of taxes.
In further investigations, we have found no records of J. L. Steel, LP either filing, reporting
or paying applicable taxes due to the City of North Richland Hills for any business personal
property located in the City of North Richland Hills. We have reason to believe that you and
your firm have substantial assets located in the city and we have been advised that all equipment,
rolling stock, plant facilities and all other business assets located in our city are subject to
business personal property taxes. Further, we have been advised that no such taxes have
been paid since 1996 by your company.
The same is applicable to taxes due to all other taxing authorities your business personal property
is subject to, such as the hospital district, BISD, the college district and Tarrant County.
In light of this information, we are hereby calling on you to provide proof of the payment of
all applicable taxes due to the City of North Richland Hills for all business personal property
located in the city. Failing this, we feel that you have an obligation to the city to withdraw from
the upcoming election pursuant to the NRH City Charter, Article V, Section 2 – “shall not be
in arrears in the payment of any taxes or other liability due the City, “. We are calling on the City
Manager and other members of the council to either show proof of the payment of the applicable
taxes for all years you have had your cement mixing plant, and all equipment utilized for the Rufe
Snow reconstruction project, located in NRH and on the BISD land which you occupy without
ease payment, or to require you to withdraw pursuant to the city charter. (Further, it is our
understanding that the actual market value of such land usage might also be taxable as business
personal property, i.e. the value of the lease.)
Reasonable estimates of the business personal property located in North Richland Hills would
be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the current rate of $.57 per $100 value, the city
has apparently lost significant revenue from your apparent failure to render such property and
pay the applicable taxes on the same.
We are copying this letter to all interested parties and asking that a full investigation of your
handling and payment of business personal property taxes be either validated by public records
or that the City and all other taxing jurisdictions involved, take whatever steps necessary to insure
the full collection of all taxes due to them on your business personal property subject to their jurisdiction.
Should you have proof of the payment of the above taxes, please provide such information
to all parties listed as addressees for this open letter.
Note: Suzette Christopher is a candidate for mayor,
candidates for North Richland Hills City Council are Ron West,
Pl. 4, Nancy Bielik, Pl. 6, and Jo Cox Place 2