Belmont selectmen unhappy that casino owes$235,000 in back taxes

BELMONT — Selectmen learned Monday night that the Lakes Region Casino owes about $235,000 in back property taxes to the town after falling behind on the agreement that was struck in April of 2012.

Town Administrator Jeanne Beaudin said $97,289 is subject to tax-deeding, meaning that the town can place a lien on the property. According to N.H. law, a tax bill must be two years and one day late before it is subject to a deeding.

"I don't want to push them out but they made a deal," said Selectman Jon Pike. "I don't believe they've showed good faith."

The deal about which Pike spoke was made by the three selectmen and and the owners of Potts Gaming, LLC. Former Casino Manager Rick Newman represented Potts Gaming at the meeting when the deal was struck.

In April of 2012, which was shortly after Potts Gaming bought the former Lakes Region Greyhound Park when the bank foreclosed on the loan previously held by Torguson Gaming Group.

Potts Gaming and the Board of Selectmen agreed that the business would pay $3,000 weekly toward the $185,781 in back taxes in exchange for the board waiving $25,400 of accrued interest and fees.

Beaudin said Potts Gaming has not made a tax payment to the town since the end of March of 2013. She said she contacted the General Manager Ryan Gloddy who said the casino would start making payments on December 1.

"It's unacceptable," said Pike, telling Beaudin to send a letter to Potts Gaming LLC. "I want those payments to resume."

Pike and Selectman Ruth Mooney both said that it was Potts Gaming who made the deal with the town and it was their responsibility to make the payments as agreed. Neither felt it was appropriate for the company to dictate the terms of when they would resume paying the taxes.

Selectman Ruth Mooney also said she was a little disappointed to learn this week that the Casino was behind on its agreement since it had been almost seven months since it made a payment.

Other than agreeing that Potts Gaming should have kept up their end of the bargain, Selectman's Chair Ron Cormier recused himself from the discussion saying his son participates in one of the youth hockey programs that uses the Lakes Region Casino as a fundraiser.

The Daily Sun was unable to reach Lakes Region Casino Manager Ryan Gloddy yesterday.