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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 20, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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October 20, 2010

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lllllllllllMlllIlilll-illllllillll!lillillllillii _u  -- FEATHER RIVER ....... > .,. ..... , and Surrounding Areas Since 1866 Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010 Vol. 144, No. 11 50 CENTS i Will Dragon blast Nakoma's latest owner? Diana Jorgenson Portola Editor djorgenson@plu masnews.corn The Dragon that was the golf course at Gold Mountain has blasted and bested all who have come in its path. Its owners, the Garners, were bested by a project that was ultimately more than they could handle, landing them in bankruptcy with land unsurveyed, easements unfiled, infrastructure unconveyed, wells where they shouldn't be, no wells where they were sup- posed to be and vendors unpaid. The Dragon blasted Gold Mountain's 59 investors who were left holding an empty bag and ultimately lost more than $20 million. It bested the bankruptcy trustee who, after the sale fell through more than once, considered washing her hands of it. Then what? Would it go back to its bankrupt owners? Divvied up to in- vestors? Or sold as tax delinquent by Plumas County? The Dragon bested the bankruptcy court's lawyers, who, in unlawyer-like fashion, reduced their fees by 30 percent just to get it off their caseloads and out of their lives. It blasted Gold Mountain homeowners, who paid money and signed mortgages and believed in a vision, but now no longer care if the golf course is world-renowne as long as it is green and someone else pays the water bill. It blasted the Gold Mountain Community Service District, which has had an uncertain time of it during bankruptcy and fmds itself with a precarious future. It blasted Plumas County with a mountain of back taxes and the burden of fronting these unpaid amounts to the designated entities, like the schools, for all the years of bankruptcy. See Dragon, page 9A Meter keeps ticking on back taxes, penalties, interest Parcel Number 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Clubhouse/restaurant 131-260-026 $3,689,516 $3,738,049 $1,784,439 $1,784,531 $1,784,551 $892,231 Golf course 131-020-064 $1,276,881 $1,302,417 $1,076,050 $1,077,371 $1,077,371 $538,671 Golf course 131-020-066 $1,841,735 $1,878,569 $1,548,001 $1,549,461 $1,549,461 $774,761 Totals $6,808,132 $6,919,035 $4,408,490 $4,411,363 $4,411,363 $2,205,663 Notes: The 2006 reduction, in assessed value was baaed on communication, with the bankrupte trustee and aided by data from an appraisal orepared by a profexional golf course appraiser for the bankruptcy court. The 2009 reduction in value was implemented by the Plumas County Assessor's Offlwe after further dgteioration of the fax:ility and the Gold Mountain real estate market, a well as information, about the marketing efforts by the bankruptcy trustee and investors. Clubhouse/restaurant 131-260-026 Golf course 131-020-064 Golf course 131-020-066 Totals 2004 $3,689,516 $1,276,881 $1,841,735 $6,808,132 2005 $3,738,049 $1,302,417 $1,878,569 $6,919,035 $1,008,259 $1,450,477 $4,130,755 t 1 $914,473 ' $914,473 [ 1 $1,315,183 l $1,315,183 ! $3,744,366 $3,744,366 } $457,224 2010 $642,818 $387,686 $657,617 $558,185 $1,872,167 $1,588,689 l. The assessor's staff as well as a member of the California State Board of Equalization staff inspected the Nakoma facility in the spring of 2010. Conditions observed on, that visit inchutgd but were not limited to significant vole damage to the golf course, frozen pipes in the golf course water system, significan:t d, amage to the resort roof, damaged sheetrock and removed floor coverings in the basement area resulting from broken pipes; the main heating unit for the lodge is ,[mrted to be unlsable and in need of repair or replacement. Some additional value reductions were made for prior years from after the date of the court's appraisal which ported the property to be in good condition. It was determined that some of the water damage occurred after the date of the court's appraisal and before lle 2006 tax lien date. The adjustments made were aided by data obtained by the ultimate buyer in the course of his pre-Ourchase dl diligence investigation and other sources including the Plumo County department. Diana Jorgenson Portola Reporter When Michael Schoff pur- chased Gold Mountain prop- erties from the bankruptcy trustee in Reno, Nev., last April, many people in the county looked to Schoff as a hero. Gold Mountain residents looked to Schoff to take over maintenance and responsi- bility for the golf course and the Nakoma clubhouse and hoped Nakoma's revitaliza- tion would slow the loss in their property values. Community leaders hoped for a turnaround in the local economy. And Plumas County, with approximately $900,000 in back taxes, penalties and in- terest, looked for a transfu- sion to its ailing budget and smaller property tax rolls. Six months after the sale, Schoff has paid the county $20,%000; the remaining tax amount in default is $628,000. Voles made off with the rest. Once taxes go into default they accrue a penalty and ongoing interest, so the numbers never stay the same. The meter keeps tick- ing and the numbers keep growing. It is very difficult to com- pute differences and to pin- point accurately how much was lost to de-valuation and reassessment and how much was erased during the 30 days' grace after reassess- ment. The meter keeps ticking. Recently the new tax bills went out. The tally on the Nakoma properties owned by Schoff is $675,585. The meter keeps ticking. Nov. 1, properties still in default will take a new hit 1.5 percent. The meter keeps ticking. How did we get here? A different type of sale was one of the circum- stances that led to the cur- rent situation. In an earlier contract with purchaser William Shaw, the $1.5 million sale price in- cluded the Plumas County tax liens, paid out by the court. In the trustee's arrange- ment with Schoff, the bank- ruptcy court accepted pay- ment of its $900,000 portion and left Plumas County to fend for itself. During bankruptcy, the courts reqqested Plumas County 6tessor Chuck Leonhardt reassess and de- value the Gold Mountain properties in 2006 and then again in 2009. Of the 56 parcels, three are of primary importance: the Nakoma clubhouse and two parcels encompassing the See Taxes, iage 9A