ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Failing to pay taxes can sink you in a sea of trouble, so you might be surprised at how many businesses in St. Louis do not pay their property taxes, especially as the city struggles to balance its budget.
St. Louis City filed lawsuits this week against local businesses who owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes, and the owners of the Ballpark Lofts downtown top the list of offenders. Those owners owe $222,000 in back taxes.
Calls made to the corporate office associated with the Ballpark Lofts were not answered.
"The people that are on that list have been notified for the last three years what the record shows and what they actually owe,” says Gregory Daly, St. Louis revenue collector.
The real estate taxes that these businesses owe help fund the St. Louis Public Schools. The money is also critical to Laclede’s Landing where owners of the old home of Planet Hollywood moved out, owing $165,000.
However, the city will eventually get its money.
"We have the ability to use the one hammer that we have, [which] is to sell their property over on the courthouse steps,” says Daly.
Daly says the city files suit against commercial property owners who have not paid real estate taxes four times a year.