Delinquent developer owes hundreds of thousands in back taxes in Lauderdale County - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Delinquent developer owes hundreds of thousands in back taxes in Lauderdale County

By Justin Hanson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

RIPLEY, TN (WMC-TV) - Shelby County isn't the only place developer Harold Buehler is feeling the heat from not paying his taxes on time. Action News 5 has learned Buehler also owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes for property he owns in Lauderdale County. 

Recently, Buehler has gotten support from a former basketball star.

"I think it can make a lot of difference for families who are struggling, trying to get homes and trying to get out of the apartment complex," said former University of Memphis and Grizzlies star Antonio Burks. 

Burks' mother lives in one of Buehler's home. 

But Buehler is in some hot water in Lauderdale County for not paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes on property he owns there. 

"For this county, it's a huge negative impact," Lauderdale County Trustee Steve Carmack said.

Paperwork shows that Buehler owes over $667,000 dollars in city and county taxes.  Officials say this is one of the largest tax delinquencies on county rolls. 

"The schools are overcrowded because new people are coming in and we don't have any tax money from this.  This is a tremendous impact in Lauderdale County," Carmack said.

City of Ripley treasurer Donna Buckner said Buehler paid over $82,000 in back taxes this summer after the city took him to court.

"The attorney did not have a defense for it in the last case and he just agreed to the judgment," Buckner said.

Buehler promised to pay back all the money he owes in Shelby County.

"We have a plan in place to take care of these taxes," he said.

And Donna Buckner is waiting on him to do the very same thing in Lauderdale County.

David Upton of Buehler Affordable Homes said the homebuilder is currently appealing the tax assessment in Lauderdale County, and that is the reason they've been late in their payments. 

An order of sale says Buehler has until October 31st to pay 2007's taxes in full.  Otherwise, his property could be sold to the highest bidder. 

Upton says they plan on paying their taxes and keeping their property.

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