TULSA COUNTY, Okla. - Property taxes fund schools, libraries and county services.
A 2NEWS Investigation discovered $18 million in late taxes is owed to Tulsa County for 2013.
Last year we found $20 million in late taxes was owed to the county.
So for the second year in a row, we pored over the list of 19,000 properties which were late for 2013 and found a number of repeat offenders. In particular, three delinquent entities stood out.
Of the local business on the list, Remy Enterprises owes the most.
Remy Enterprises owns properties around the Tulsa area and is comprised of several members of the Remy family.
Remy Enterprises is listed as owning Cross Creek Shopping Center in Bixby. It is valued at more than $10 million, according to the Tulsa County Assessor.
The Tulsa County Treasurer says Remy Enterprises owes $113,000 for 2013. That amount combined with the money still owed for 2011 and 2012 brings Remy's total to $275,000 in overdue taxes for Cross Creek.
T.J Remy is listed as the property contact. When he didn't return our calls, we visited him at his $520,000 home. No one answered the door.
We reached out to his partner Tim Remy for comment. He didn't call us back either.
But we did find Tim listed as the Interim Pastor at Brookside Baptist Church. We visited the church. The doors were locked, but we had a conversation with Senior Pastor Danny Stockstill through the outside speaker system.
Stockstill told us Remy is not a member of the church staff and "not a pastor here."
He told us Tim Remy is a worship leader and despite having a voicemail box at church and a photo in the staff section on the website, the Senior Pastor said Remy doesn't work there much.
Ninety minutes after our visit, Remy's title on the church's website was changed from Interim Worship Pastor to Worship Leader.
We reached out to the Remy family attorney. He is not commenting on the matter at this time.
The person on the list who owes the most is Lauri Parsons.
Last year our investigation revealed Parsons owed $41,000 in property taxes for 2012.
She owes $32,000 in 2013 taxes on her $2 million home.
Parsons still owes the entire amount for her 2012 property taxes.
In August, Parsons, along with her husband, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy after being accused of using federal dollars on a construction project for personal benefit.
“Ms. Parsons financial position is seriously deteriorated over the past several years," said her attorney Rob Nigh. "She's in the process of liquidating assets including real estate, in order to satisfy as many of her financial obligations as possible including outstanding property taxes.”
Who owes the most of all in delinquent property taxes for 2013?
The State of Oklahoma, for the second year in a row.
It's something that is upsetting to Oklahoma State Senator Sean Burrage of Claremore.
"Nothing happened. There's just no will to solve this problem," said Burrage.
Last May, a 2NEWS Investigation exposed Oklahoma as the most delinquent for 2012 , owing almost $6 million. By July, the state paid it down to $2 million, and by March 2014 the debt was paid in full.
It prompted Senator Burrage to write a bill demanding the taxes be paid.
"We had legislation this year that would have addressed this, taking that money out of the general revenue, and the bill wasn't even heard in the Senate," said Burrage.
This year the state's total is higher. It owes $6.8 million for 2013.
The state is obligated to pay the property taxes for 156 businesses in Tulsa County that qualify for tax credit. The problem is the state doesn't have the money to pay the bill.
It's frustrating to Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith.
"We are a subset of the state of Oklahoma so there's really not much we can do even statutorily to improve that process," said Tulsa County Commissioner Karen Keith.
Senator Burrage is already meeting with other lawmakers to make sure the bill gets introduced next session.
He says there's a slim chance it could get heard before the end of this session, but that's unlikely.
The 2NEWS Investigators will continue to follow this story and hold lawmakers accountable.