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Debt collector gets 1st crack at overdue Milwaukee train station taxes

By Sean Ryan

Milwaukee city attorneys for now will let the city’s collection agency deal with $328,565 in unpaid property taxes from the Milwaukee Intermodal Station.

The state of Wisconsin owns the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, but the building is subject to property taxes because it is leased to Milwaukee Intermodal Partners LLC, a Los Angeles-based private company. City debt collectors are pursuing the unpaid taxes, said Jim Klajbor, special deputy city treasurer.

“The state actually owns the property,” he said, “but under the terms of the lease, the partners are responsible for the taxes.”

Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman on Monday asked city attorneys to foreclose the state-owned downtown train station to collect the overdue taxes from 2008 and 2009.

Megan Crump, Milwaukee assistant city attorney, said city attorneys are going to let the debt-collection process play out. Milwaukee-based Kohn Law Firm S.C., which is city’s debt collector, is aggressively pursing the money, she said.

She said city attorneys will let the collection agency try to recover the debt before considering other actions.

“That is in the beginning stages,” Crump said. “The actual file is with our collection agent and they are currently working on the file. They just got it.”

Milwaukee Intermodal Partners, through its agreement with the state, renovated the station in 2006 and 2007 and now leases it to Amtrak, Greyhound Lines Inc. and restaurants. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation occupies offices on the building’s upper floors for its State Traffic Operations Center.

One comment

  1. The State of Wisconsin owns the building but the vendor is responsible for the property taxes? If the state is exempt from its own taxes how can it create an assessment? I can see a sales tax issue based on actual sales….but a state property tax for a tax exempt organization…the State of Wisconsin?

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