Motion filed to have Carper removed from Greenebrooke tax case

By Kyla Asbury | Dec 23, 2009

CHARLESTON -- A motion to have Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper to recuse himself from talking about Greenbrooke taxes has been filed by two attorneys.

The attorneys are representing Al Summers and asked that Carper remove himself from tax discussions about the Greenbrooke property or be prevented from hearing evidence in the case.

The Greenbrooke building was listed on Kanawha County's tax records as being worth $1.5 million, but Summers sold the it in September for $10.5 million. County officials, and Carper, said the property should by back-taxed.

A complaint was filed Nov. 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court against Summers by county officials, who claimed the Summers had underreported the Greenbrooke building's value.

The county officials want the court to force Summers to pay more than $400,000 in back taxes.

According to the motion Summers' attorneys filed, Carper has already made up his mind about the property's value and cannot fairly make decisions about its tax status. They claim because Carper is the head of the county's Board of Equalization, he will be acting in a quasi-judicial role.

Carper said he was unsure of whether or not he would recuse himself.

County officials want Summers to pay a penalty on the difference between the $9.65 million appraisal and the previous five appraisals The penalty comes to $403,185.

County tax officials can charge errant taxpayers a penalty of 1 percent of the difference between property's true value and its incorrectly appraised value on the tax books, according to state law. Counties can also charge the penalty for up to five previous tax years.

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