Do As I Say, Not As I Do: TEAM/LIFE Policy Council Member Bill Lewis and His Delinquent Property Taxes
Update September 1, 2013: Genesee Country Register of Deeds lists additional real estate transactions by Lewis, William P. Note the prior tax lien in 2009 on a property in Flint, Michigan. Also note the forfeiture of real estate property due to non-payment of property taxes for another property in Flint, MI. Read more here.
Update August 30, 2013: Bill Lewis responds to this post in “A Recent Lesson on Credibility”
Update August 27, 2013: After nearly two years of being delinquent (i.e. behind on paying property taxes), the Lewis residence is no longer listed as such on the Genesee County, Michigan, Treasurer Department website. The Grand Blanc Township website still lists the taxes as unpaid, but that is because that website has not received the updated information from the county. When it does, it will list the exact date the bill was paid (i.e. late).
[Editor’s note: The following post is as it originally appeared on August 23, 2013 when we reported that the Lewis’ had not paid their property taxes in nearly two years. Four days later, the taxes were paid.
In 2010, Orrin Woodward sold his house in Grand Blanc, MI, to William (Bill) P. Lewis III and Jacqueline S. Lewis via a land contract for $1,100,000. The house has been the site for at least one major TEAM event in the past. On November, 2012, members of Bill and Jackie Lewis’ team were invited for a day of dream building. See Tim Jarvinen and Neal Ruffner’s recaps. Jarvinen mentioned that the garage was filled with “beautiful cars-all paid for cash” and included photos of two Bentleys.
An investigation has revealed that property taxes on the house have been delinquent since Winter, 2011.
Over at Michigan’s Genesee County Treasurer website, one can do a search in the public records for delinquent property taxes. By entering either the property’s Parcel Number or the Owner Name, one can see that the Lewis’ have not paid their bill in nearly two years:
- Winter 2011: $4,750.36 (Unpaid)
- Summer 2012: $10,988.70 (Unpaid)
- Winter 2012: $4,900.59 (Unpaid)
- Summer 2013: $10,404.17 (Unpaid)
The Summer 2012 and Winter 2012 figures are what’s listed on the Genesee County website when doing a delinquent tax search on the property:
- Charges: 2012
- Status: Delinquent
- Original Taxes: $15,889.29
- Penalties: $635.57
- Interest: $953.36
- Statutory Fees: $0.00
- Total: $17,478.22
Each month they fail to pay their property taxes, the figure gets higher due to additional penalties and interest. Looking at the historical information on the Grand Blanc Township website, it’s evident that this is not an isolated event:
- Summer 2007: $16,463.39: Paid late on January 28, 2008
- Summer 2008: $25,197.87: Paid late on January 20, 2009
- Summer 2010: $19,463.27: Paid late on November 30, 2010
A call to the Genesee County Treasure Department verifies that this information is up-to-date as of August 21, 2013. Michigan’s Public Act 123 of 1999 has this to say about delinquent property taxes:
On July 22, 1999, the Governor of Michigan signed Public Act 123 of 1999, which shortens the time property owners have to pay their delinquent taxes before losing their property under the process called tax reversion. Property owners with taxes that are 2 years delinquent will go through a foreclosure process and the property may be sold at public auction.
Winter 2013 is coming up, so the Lewis’ had better pay the bill or else the house will go through foreclosure.
Earlier this week, Bill Lewis wrote about regaining credibility. He writes:
The most important thought to begin with is you can actually gain credibility by making and owning up to a mistake. Its [sic] amazing how counterintuitive, in todays culture, it seems to own up to a mistake.
TEAM/LIFE proponents often prop up their leaders as examples of financial success. Being delinquent on property taxes does not seem like a good example to follow.
Will Bill and Jacqui Lewis admit to this mistake? Will their credibility be restored in the eyes of their followers who currently believe they are fiscally responsible people? Or, will this be just another example of a TEAM/LIFE leader who says one thing, but does another?1