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District 93 candidate admits he owes $200,000 in back property taxes

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at 4:34 p.m.
  • Updated Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, at 4:44 p.m.

When Dan Thimesch decided to run for a state House seat, the Cheney resident and homebuilder knew he was delinquent on more than $200,000 in back property taxes on lots he was trying to develop.

So he said he volunteered the information while campaigning for the District 93 seat this fall. He mentioned the delinquency to The Eagle as well.

“I’m trying to be upfront as much as I can be,” he said Friday. “I never kept this a secret.”

About 45 lots owned by Thimesch in a Garden Plain development are in foreclosure by Sedgwick County, county treasurer Linda Kizzire said. He hasn’t paid property taxes on the lots since 2008 and owes the county $212,123.29. That doesn’t include 2012 property taxes, which won’t be calculated until next month.

Thimesch said he’ll allow the lots to continue through foreclosure proceedings. The lots are expected to be sold at a public auction next summer, Kizzire said.

“There’s no way I could dig up that kind of money,” said Thimesch, who has had his own construction company for 38 years. “My timing was exactly wrong.”

The housing market flat-lined in 2008 as the economy faltered.

Thimesch said he bought the lots about eight years ago, intending to develop them for residential and senior housing. He built five houses in the development and sold four of those; the fifth is being rented, he said.

Kizzire and Thimesch said much of the back taxes owed are because of special assessments on such things as streets, sewers and gas and water lines.

“I could go into bankruptcy or let the government have the property,” said Thimesch. “I’m going to let the government have it.”

Thimesch said he still owes “hundreds of thousands of dollars” on a loan he took out to buy the lots. He said he has reached agreement with a bank to secure a new loan by using his Cheney home as security.

That home was free and clear, he said. Sedgwick County lists the value of the home at about $124,000.

Thimesch, who is running as an independent after representing the district as a Democrat from 1994 to 2004, faces Republican George Edwards and Democrat Sammy Flaharty in the Nov. 6 election.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or at rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com.

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