The parcel, a portion of one of two courses at the property, was sold last fall to Discount Land Exchange for $33,000, about 29% of the $114,200 owed in delinquent taxes by the club’s owner. One of the two remaining unsold lots contains the clubhouse, where a bar is still in operation, and has accrued $297,606 in delinquent taxes, penalties and interest.
A portion of an 18-hole golf course at the Santa Teresa (N.M.) Country Club has been sold by the state to collect back taxes, the Las Cruces (N.M.) Sun-News reported.
A deed reflecting the transaction filed officially last week shows that a sale was made last fall—to an entity called Discount Land Exchange—of a nearly 83-acre parcel southeast of the clubhouse. The parcel was one of a handful comprising the Yucca golf course, one of two courses at the country club, the Sun-News reported.
Typically, state taxation officials seek to sell a parcel for the full value of the delinquent taxes, as well as penalties and interest that have accrued. But the lot was sold for about $33,000, about 29% of the $114,200 owed in delinquent taxes by country club owner Greg Collins and his affiliated companies, the Sun-News reported.
Of that collected amount, the state will keep a portion, and $21,200 will return to Doña Ana County to be distributed among local governments and schools that benefit from property taxes, county Treasurer David Gutierrez said.
The fact the land is in new ownership means the county can begin collecting property taxes again on it, Gutierrez said. “I was very happy to see that property sold. I wish the other two sold.” The property was offered at a reduced price because it had gone so long without selling, Gutierrez said.
The 83-acre parcel and two other large acreages belonging to Santa Teresa Country Club LLC and Mesilla Bolson Properties LLC, companies affiliated with Collins, were put up for auction by the state in October 2012. No bidders stepped forward to buy the parcels, so they were put on the auction block again in September 2013 with a combined price tag of about $672,000. A Mesilla resident attempted to buy all three properties for $20,000, but state officials rejected him, saying they needed to collect the full listed price, the Sun-News reported.
After that auction, a second auction was held a few weeks later. It was there that Discount Land Exchange successfully bought one of the three properties for $33,000, Gutierrez said. “The others were reduced (in price), as well, but they didn’t sell,” he said.
Property taxes have been accumulating on the parcel since January 1, 2009, according to a copy of the deed filed February 19 at the Doña Ana County Clerk’s Office. The assessed value of the property, which includes improvements, was $777,100, according to county assessor’s office records.
Many residents of a more than 500-home community built around the golf courses have been at odds with Collins in recent years. In the spring of 2013, the shuttered golf courses weren’t being watered, prompting some residents to complain that their home values were being affected. They said they were also concerned about poor road maintenance into the country club neighborhood and a trash pickup service run by Collins, the Sun-News reported.
Santa Teresa resident Vicki Harder said residents are wondering whether the parcels will be sold off piecemeal, potentially to different owners. The recent sale has prompted questions and uncertainty about what’s next, she said. “We’re all wondering: ‘What does it mean?’ ” she said.
An owner or agent of Discount Land Exchange couldn’t be reached by the Sun-News for comment.
One of the two large lots that has yet to be sold contains the clubhouse, where a bar is still in operation. For that roughly nine-acre parcel and buildings, Gutierrez said, a total of $297,606 in delinquent taxes, penalties and interest are owed, the Sun-News reported.
The other lot is 148 acres containing the 18-hole Spanish Dagger golf course, north of the country club clubhouse. Gutierrez said $223,927 in delinquent taxes, interest and penalties is owed on that property, the Sun-News reported.
Gutierrez expects the taxation and revenue department will continue trying to recoup the late taxes, the Sun-News reported.
“They are putting it up for sale again, but we don’t know when,” Gutierrez said.