Wyoming U.S. Sen. Enzi late on property taxes, too

2013-08-06T20:01:00Z 2013-08-07T06:15:04Z Wyoming U.S. Sen. Enzi late on property taxes, tooBy KYLE ROERINK Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
August 06, 2013 8:01 pm  • 

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi made three delinquent property tax payments in Wyoming as a U.S. senator, according to records from the Campbell County Assessor’s Office.

Enzi began the first of his three terms as a U.S. senator in 1996 after serving as Gillette mayor and a state legislator. County records show that he and his wife, Diana, were late on property tax payments on his currently assessed $211,658 Gillette home in 1999, 2000 and 2008. Enzi’s property tax payment history surfaced a week after The Associated Press uncovered the delinquent property tax records of the $1.6 million Teton County home owned by Liz Cheney, Enzi’s challenger for the 2014 Republican primary.

“Senator Enzi and Diana have been paying property taxes in Wyoming for 40 years; if they were ever late on a payment, they paid the bill in full with interest,” said Coy Knobel, communications director for Enzi.

Enzi was more than two months late on paying the first half of his property taxes in 1999, accruing a $13.39 interest fee. He paid the year’s worth of taxes all at once on Jan. 28, 2000.

He was nearly three months delinquent on the second payment for his 2000 property taxes and was charged $15.90 in interest, paying the fee Aug. 8, 2001.

From 2001 to 2007 the senator paid in advance, but he was late by 15 days in 2008 and had to pay $4.87 in interest.

Campbell County residents are frequently delinquent, said County Treasurer Shirley Study.

“It happens a lot,” she said.

In mid-July there were more than 1,000 delinquent payments in the county, Study said. That number dropped to 495 this month, she said.

Property tax notices are issued to Campbell County residents once a year. Residents have the option of splitting the fee into two payments per year: the first by Nov. 10 and the second by May 10 of the following year. If residents fail to make the November deadline but pay in full by Dec. 31, they are charged no interest.

Enzi has paid more than $24,000 in property taxes to the county since 1983 — the first year electronic records are available on the assessor’s website.

Cheney was more than two months late on paying the property taxes on her home in Teton County for the first half of 2012. The Associated Press reported that Cheney was late because she thought the seller was obligated to pay the taxes, but the money was deducted in the sale of the house when the deal closed on May 23, 2012.

Cheney told the AP the paperwork was mailed to her home in McLean, Va., and that’s why she wasn’t aware of the late payment sooner.

“It happens quite often — especially in a new purchase transaction,” Teton County Treasurer Donna Baur said.

Cheney declined to comment.

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