1 2 3
llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
5/19/23 5:06 p.m.

The owner of Heartland Park, Chris Payne, is in a battle with the county over property taxes, and the value of the complex. It's been going on for years, he hasn't paid since 2017 I think. It is in court again on appeal (he lost earlier) but he is now threatening to demolish the whole site after this year and build closer to Kansas City. He says it is not a bluff. But the county has its hands tied, it is literally against the law to try to reach a settlement, like he has proposed. He offered $800,000-ish against 2.2 million dollars owed. But again, it is against Kansas law to settle for less than owed. He has not used the proper appeals channels for value, so it's his own fault. The NHRA has asked the county to do whatever it takes to keep it going, and SCCA is headquartered just down the road.

I don't know how it will turn out, but it would be a shame to lose it.

llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
5/23/23 11:41 a.m.

Maybe nobody cares.

His latest statement is "well, the county never offered us tax breaks or incentives".

Suck it up, big boy.

TheTallOne17
TheTallOne17 Reader
5/23/23 11:44 a.m.

It would suck if an owners poor decision making is what brings down the track. It's a beautiful facility, though perhaps not as profitable as it would seem if the guy couldn't afford to pay the property taxes on it.

Who's gonna buy it with all those back taxes tacked on? Sounds like the current owner will do his best not to

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/23/23 11:52 a.m.

Yeah sorry, this is 100% on the E36 M3head property owner. Don't pay your taxes for 5 years and what do you expect is going to happen? $2.2 mil for 5 years sure doesn't sound like a lot for a venue like that.

llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
5/23/23 12:09 p.m.

Unfortunately, it's never been profitable. It's busier now than ever, with over 200 events a year, so I'm not sure what else there is to do to make money. It is a fantastic facility.

DocRob
DocRob Reader
5/23/23 12:13 p.m.
TheTallOne17 said:

It would suck if an owners poor decision making is what brings down the track. It's a beautiful facility, though perhaps not as profitable as it would seem if the guy couldn't afford to pay the property taxes on it.

Who's gonna buy it with all those back taxes tacked on? Sounds like the current owner will do his best not to

Unfortunately, racetracks, particularly road racetracks, aren't particularly profitable to run as a business.

But they can be profitable. What it takes is the ability to attract the big name races and events. It looks like the current owner took control of the track in 2015 and the only major events it hosts are NHRA Nationals and a country music festival. So they don't even have a major race series like IMSA or SCCA Nationals hosted there.

 

 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
5/23/23 12:52 p.m.

In reply to DocRob :

IMSA is not a money maker in most cases. I know COTA didn't fight too hard to keep it as it was really not making much for them. They make more from hosting the audi driving experience. 

He has a legit argument but crappy way of handling it in my opinion. Basically it comes down to a $9+M tax valuation on a property that was bought for $2.4M.

I would protest that too but I wouldn't let the taxes go past due. We will see how it comes out. I don't expect any changes and will be planning do do an event there just as a potential good bye this year. 

QuasiMofo (John Brown)
QuasiMofo (John Brown) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/23/23 1:01 p.m.

As far as the not profitable part goes: A semi local track changed ownership from the bumpkin that built it to what it was to a new money man with a dream. The dream apparently involved raising prices for all entrants 300%, raising ticket prices 500%, reducing and pay outs to less than fuel costs to run and then building a $950k house that was listed as a single occupant bed and breakfast on the back of the property. All of a sudden he had no competitors, no crowd, and a huge tax increase because... improvements. Track closed up, the government rezoned the home and sold it and the track is now essentially headed back to the field it once started as.

MiniDave
MiniDave Reader
5/23/23 1:11 p.m.

I was just there this past weekend for an SCCA event. The fields were disappointingly small, which makes me sad as the track has been resurfaced and is really smooth and fun to drive.

I would hate to see it go away but I also heard it would be removed and resort to some kind of industrial site....

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/23/23 1:12 p.m.

When the Runoffs first moved to Topeka, the chamber of commerce flew me out and I met the governor. 

Spent weeks there for two SCCA Championships.   IMHO it never became a "bucket list" track.  Sort of a situation of "Build it and they didn't come".

Biased... but SCCA should not have moved out there.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
8/16/23 10:49 a.m.
bmw88rider said:

In reply to DocRob :

IMSA is not a money maker in most cases. I know COTA didn't fight too hard to keep it as it was really not making much for them. They make more from hosting the audi driving experience. 

He has a legit argument but crappy way of handling it in my opinion. Basically it comes down to a $9+M tax valuation on a property that was bought for $2.4M.

I would protest that too but I wouldn't let the taxes go past due. We will see how it comes out. I don't expect any changes and will be planning do do an event there just as a potential good bye this year. 

The problem is that you'll never get your money back from the gov't and spend more trying to fight to get it back. Sounds like the property appraiser and tax man for the county are partially to blame. 

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
8/16/23 12:16 p.m.
TheTallOne17 said:

It would suck if an owners poor decision making is what brings down the track. It's a beautiful facility, though perhaps not as profitable as it would seem if the guy couldn't afford to pay the property taxes on it.

Who's gonna buy it with all those back taxes tacked on? Sounds like the current owner will do his best not to

It's not that he can't, he refuses to pay far more than what it should be.

Say you bought your house for $200k, and the tax assessor hits you for $25k that first year, and the four after that.   Pretty soon, you'll have paid more in property tax than the place is worth.  Would you pay that, no questions asked?  Or would you fight it.

llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
8/16/23 4:09 p.m.

In reply to racerfink :

Except that is not the case. The taxes are at about 4% of appraised value. It is divided into 24 parcels, I assume to obscure and confuse. Even the freaking bridge to cross to the pits is separate.

This is hurting the schools, the college, the county, the library, etc. He doesn't care, he lives in another state.

He agreed to a new lower value years ago after arbitration and independent valuation. He has not paid taxes since.

I was out there for NHRA Nationals over the weekend. It will be the last, as it stands now. He canceled the deal. Still a great place, many records set there.

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
8/17/23 6:48 a.m.
Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/17/23 8:49 a.m.

This reads a lot like an abusive county government with dollar signs in their eyes and a rich guy that got his back all bowed up. I'm not sure how the county came up with a $10m value on a property that sold for $2.5m but it sounds like the county was trying to milk what they thought was going to be a cash cow.

The losers in this fight will be the businesses that will lose revenue due to a shortsighted county government when the track is shut down. 

If I was the rich guy, I'd bulldoze the place into a pile of rubble and move on. Doubly true if I owned a speedway that was 50 miles away and another dragstrip that is 100 miles away. 

 

 

llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
8/17/23 9:02 a.m.

In reply to racerfink :

From the article:

"Shelby has never explained how it sustained a reduction in the value of its property, lost profitability of the premises, increased tax liabilities, decreased net income, or other damages caused by the County appraisers’ actions,” the court wrote in its 24-page ruling. “Shelby had the burden to present some specific evidence supporting its damage claims. It has simply failed to do so.”"

Like I said, I was there. 

I hope the county forecloses on it soon, and takes it away from this shiny happy person.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
8/17/23 9:10 a.m.
Toyman! said:

This reads a lot like an abusive county government with dollar signs in their eyes and a rich guy that got his back all bowed up. I'm not sure how the county came up with a $10m value on a property that sold for $2.5m but it sounds like the county was trying to milk what they thought was going to be a cash cow.

The losers in this fight will be the businesses that will lose revenue due to a shortsighted county government when the track is shut down. 

If I was the rich guy, I'd bulldoze the place into a pile of rubble and move on. Doubly true if I owned a speedway that was 50 miles away and another dragstrip that is 100 miles away. 

 

 

Yeah, living through an overreaching, overzealous shiny happy person local gov't that is trying everything it can to skirt the state law on property taxes (1% cap on residential and 2% on commercial) I can't for the life of me side with the county. A 4x higher evaluation (at 4%, 100k vs 400k is huge) is not cool. Sad to see a track close, but I'd walk away and say berkeley you to the local gov too.

llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
8/17/23 9:22 a.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

Values increase over time. Land here has gone from $1500/acre to over $10k/acre in 10 years. My house has gone up over 250% since purchase. HMP is over 300 acres, with major improvements.

And like I said earlier, the county didn't set the value, an independent appraisal did. A little over 7 million. He actually paid the taxes before that.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
8/17/23 9:35 a.m.
llysgennad said:

In reply to Toyman! :

Values increase over time. Land here has gone from $1500/acre to over $10k/acre in 10 years. My house has gone up over 250% since purchase. HMP is over 300 acres, with major improvements.

And like I said earlier, the county didn't set the value, an independent appraisal did. A little over 7 million. He actually paid the taxes before that.

By chance do you work with the local or county gov't there? 

Sounds like the local gov't there is willing to lose out on all the potential cash flow that comes with events that take place there because of greed and an unfair valuation on the property.  It'll have some serious second and third order effects on local businesses. I can't think of any other reason I would visit Topeka, KS other than to potentially race there or watch a race. 

llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
8/17/23 9:49 a.m.

In reply to DirtyBird222 :

Ha, no. I work at a tiny little manufacturing company. 

This is just a case of a rich shiny happy person being a rich shiny happy person. I'm sure the fact that he's building a new track closer to his home has nothing to do with trying to kill this one.

llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
8/17/23 10:09 a.m.

Here's an example of values around the county: close to me, on the opposite side of the county from HMP, 100 acres of useless scrub land sold for a million about the same time he bought the track. HMP is 3x as large, just outside the city, and next to a large airport/national guard base. Pretty prime real estate if you ask me.

He got a bargain when he bought it.

I can only assume those of you agreeing with him live in some utopia where taxes always go down and fuel is free. And the rich shiny happy people never have an agenda.

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
8/17/23 10:12 a.m.
llysgennad said:

I can only assume those of you agreeing with him live in some utopia where taxes always go down and fuel is free. And the rich shiny happy people never have an agenda.

Nice, throw the personal barbs and strawmen. This, this is the E36 M3 why we can't have discussions anymore. People are just too berkeleying rude. There's a lot I WANT to say to this assinine comment but nah... I'm out. 

llysgennad
llysgennad HalfDork
8/17/23 10:27 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Sorry to offend. I've given the facts as to the valuation and current situation. I pay my taxes, why shouldn't he?

Toyman!
Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/17/23 10:30 a.m.

In reply to llysgennad :

And attitudes like yours are why we lose race tracks. 

Maybe you should go buy the track yourself and show the rest of us how it's done. 

Oh, wait...never mind.

 

 

 

1 2 3

You'll need to log in to post.

Our Preferred Partners
S4XL4ky4hfQaiMTL8vylq00DBTlIckPhlo4VgCFmO8sNFIGIvW032GRK3IGDDYPZ