Just a few months ago CNBC reported that U.S. citizens who owe back taxes to Uncle Sam could be barred from flying out of the country but what are the consequences when the entity owing back taxes is your local community college and the money is owed to your County Tax Assessor-Collector as opposed to the IRS?
KPRC has the story of an internal report conducted by the Lone Star College System which shows the LSC – University Park campus has not paid taxes on commercial rental properties, as required by law.
The Lone Star College system has announced that after an internal review of operations at LSC-University Park, the school has not paid taxes on commercial rental properties, as required by law.
The University Park campus, in northwest Houston, was purchased in 2008 and includes a number of System Office departments and employees, a University Center, and a commercial lease component.
The portion used for educational purposes is tax exempt. The commercial lease component is taxable and part of a strategic effort to diversify revenue sources and manage the college efficiently. Lone Star College purchased over 1 million square feet and will lease out available space until the campus at that site reaches its maximum enrollment potential, estimated to be 18,000-20,000 students over a 10-year period.
“This is good news for taxpayers,” said Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Sullivan. “Chancellor Head is handling this professionally and expeditiously. I appreciate Lone Star College and its service to our community. Lawyers assisting the school have determined that total taxes due are $2,024,000. We are working with the College to triple-check the numbers and finalize a repayment plan, getting that money into the hands of taxpayers.”
Lone Star College is reviewing its internal processes and remains committed to its students, taxpayers and community.
This could be just the tip-of-the-iceberg. Contract parking at a public university, leased space for college bookstores, school food concessions, leases for hangar spaces at airports—whoa.
How many other public entities are not paying taxes on facilities they own which are leased, rented or used by private entities?