The City of Columbus has filed a complaint against a parent corporation based both in Columbus and Nebraska, saying two of its subsidiaries that own 11 blighted local properties were created as a shield from liability.
Jim Letizia reports.
The City Attorney's office is seeking to stop the companies from acquiring tax lien certificates or buying more properties until the sites in question are brought into compliance. The case was filed against Municipal Tax Investment LLC, Municipal Tax Property LLC and Nelnet. The complaint also names two local agents, Matt Beckett and Brian Breeckner of Realty Executives Decision in Columbus. The city says Nelnet is the sole owner and parent company of Municipal Tax Investment and Municipal Tax Property. The eleven properties in Linden, the Hilltop, the South Side and the Near East Side have outstanding code violations, and the companies also owe nearly 77 thousand dollars in delinquent taxes, abatement assessments and delinquent water and sewer payments. The city says the companies acquired the properties by purchasing bundles of unpaid property taxes from Franklin County and demanding tax payment from property owners. The city says the companies then acquired the properties through foreclosure but failed to maintain them. The companies and agents have yet to comment.