Franklin County collects on Green Power back taxes

Tri-City Herald Staff WriterApril 22, 2014 

— A troubled Pasco biofuels company has one less creditor.

The Franklin County Treasurer’s Office finalized a $58,700 auction of some of the Green Power’s equipment and tools to pay back personal property taxes.

The auction, like the Port of Pasco’s eviction of Green Power, was delayed when the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But when the case was dismissed a few weeks ago, both the auction and eviction were able to move forward.

Josie Koelzer, Franklin County treasurer, said in a statement the county was able to sell enough assets to cover the back taxes and auction costs while leaving the unfinished biofuels plant untouched. In total, the county collected $60.200 in back taxes and fees.

“It was our intention to leave the business intact as much as we could, either for Green Power or for the other lien holders,” she said.

But it was important to collect the delinquent tax dollars, which help pay for the county sheriff’s office, fire services, hospitals and schools.

The winning bidder in the auction, Pacific Steel & Recycling of Kennewick, was able to remove the auctioned off property during the last week.

The Port of Pasco recently received approval from Franklin Superior Court to evict the company. Green Power’s founder and CEO, Michael Spitzauer, is in federal custody in Yakima awaiting trial on charges of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering connected to his business.

Bankruptcy records show Green Power claims it has $10 million in assets, including the partially built plant in Pasco, while 14 creditors claim the company owes them $30.5 million.

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