The new owner of the Coopersburg, Pa., club is seeking a market-based assessment of the property’s value to adjust the current tax rate. Robert Ashford claims the assessed value of the property, $5.4 million, exceeds the actual market value by more than $3 million.
When Robert Ashford became the owner of Locust Valley Golf Club on Aug. 1, he took on $354,960 in back taxes the club owed, for which he is now seeking tax relief, the Upper Saucon Patch reported.
Ashford and his attorney, James Omdahl, presented at the township’s Board of Supervisors meeting held Aug. 20, agreeing to pay all delinquent real estate taxes for the Coopersburg, Pa., club on the basis of a market-based assessment of the property’s value, Patch reported.
“Locust Valley is a great golf course,” Ashford said at the meeting. “But it’s showing its age. We want to keep it a golf course.”
Ashford and Omdahl argued that the 2013 assessed value of the property, which is $5.4 million, exceeds the implied market value by more than $1 million and the actual market value by more than $3 million, Patch reported.
“The Manor House [Inn] was estimated at $986,000,” said Ashford. “This building is decrepit. It hasn’t had heat in seven years.”
Though Locust Valley currently produces its revenue without a bar, restaurant or banquet area, Ashford plans to implement those amenities along with other improvements if he is able to receive tax relief before Sept. 12, which is the date of the property’s upset tax sale, Patch reported.
“My client [Ashford] is willing to invest upwards of $500,000,” said Omdahl. “But right now [with all taxes], it’s not likely he would be able to keep it a golf course.”
The board supported the idea, but the decision ultimately lies with the three taxing districts: the township, Lehigh County and the Southern Lehigh School District.
Ashford requested the elimination of a 4 percent amusement tax at a previous meeting. The amusement tax is applied to all club-generated revenue and Ashford claimed that only four local businesses are forced to pay, Patch reported.advertise