Lake County Treasurer Peggy Holinga-Katona has given payment plan after payment plan on a commercial property in the name of “Irene Holinga Revocable Trust” but fired an employee for accepting a tax payment that kept a Gary resident in her home.
May 7, 2018-In an article in the One Region Times yesterday, Lake County Treasurer Peggy Katona admitted that she instructed an employee to refuse a delinquent tax payment because the City of Gary wanted the property. We have not yet received the memo referred to in the article, however Katona says Attorney John Stanish approved the firing of her opponent Greta Heard because:
Heard obstructed Katona’s attempt last summer to donate to the city of Gary a single-family house built in the 1950s in Gary’s impoverished Aetna section.
The house came to the treasurer’s attention because its owner had fallen more than 18 months behind on property tax payments, giving the county the right to auction it to the public or give it to Gary, which has a collection of derelict properties to offer potential developers.
Let us make that clear. A property is tax delinquent but has not yet gone to tax sale and the Lake County Treasurer admits to conspiring with the City of Gary to refuse a lawful payment from a property owner because the City of Gary wants to offer it to potential developers. The co-conspirators were so adamant in forcing Gary homeowners out of their property that Katona fired Greta Heard because she accepted the payment from the homeowner.
Irene Holinga Trust Property Avoids Tax Sale Repeatedly
Despite working overtime behind the scenes to force Gary residents out of their homes, Katona also works overtime to ensure that a commercial property in Highland does not go to tax sale. A property located at 8501 Kennedy Avenue in Highland in the name of “Irene Holinga Revocable Trust” is currently about $6,000.00 in arrears in taxes. This property would have been eligible for tax sale numerous times if a payment plan had not been offered. Only the Lake County Treasurer can decide to issue a payment plan and issuing a payment plan is in the sole discretion of the Lake County Treasurer with the exception of situations where the taxpayer has defaulted on a payment plan within 5 years. In the case of 8501 Kennedy, the property was offered a payment plan after defaulting on a payment plan in the past.
With the help of The Times, Peggy Katona will likely win the nomination of Democratic voters tomorrow. We thank her for exposing the scheme to obtain tax delinquent properties in Gary and we hope to have much more on this after the primary.