Politics & Government

Rep. Brenda Landwehr says delinquent taxes owed by house’s owner, not her

TOPEKA – Wichita Republican Rep. Brenda Landwehr and her husband, David, are trying to fix a deed-transfer problem that resulted in a $485 property tax delinquency for a house in southeast Wichita.

County records show the couple owes $169 in unpaid property taxes from 2010 and $316 from 2011 for the home listed in their name at 4315 E. Boston, near Harry and Oliver. But Landwehr said the man who bought the house in 2003 should be responsible for the taxes.

Landwehr said she and her husband had bought the home as an investment property. But she said renting wasn’t for them, and they decided to sell it in 2003.

After the sale, property tax payments were made for years via the new owner’s escrow account. After the house got paid off in 2010, taxes weren’t paid and the county sent notices out to the home.

Landwehr, who lives in northwest Wichita, said she didn’t get notices sent to the home in southeast Wichita.

The deed should have transferred from one title company that went out of business to another title company, said Frank Ojile, Landwehr’s lawyer. But it did not.

“There’s a missing deed floating out there somewhere,” he said. “The Landwehrs were totally unaware of what was going on until you guys (The Eagle) contacted them.”

Ojile said a new deed is being created to ensure the property isn’t listed under the Landwehrs’ name. He said he’s not sure how the county will handle the delinquent taxes, but he said the taxes should be the responsibility of the new owner.

Debbie DePriest, a contract servicing officer at Kansas Secured Title, confirmed that her company did not receive a deed when it acquired files from Lawyer’s Title, the company the Landwehrs used when they sold the home in 2003.

Landwehr said she’s trying to resolve the problem.

Landwehr was elected to the House in 1994. She is the chairwoman of the House Health and Human Services Committee and the Joint Committee on Health Policy Oversight.

She faces Wichita Democrat Rep. Nile Dillmore in the November general election.