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FLDS towns owe lots in back taxes to Utah, Arizona

Published February 5, 2013 11:52 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A huge tax bill has piled up in the twin towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., after taxes on FLDS property weren't paid for five years.

According to a report that aired last night on KUTV, no property taxes have been paid on land held by the United Effort Plan — a trust originally set up by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but now controlled by the state. The bill now adds up to more than $4 million, according to KUTV, and local authorities say that the various conflicts over the property means they can do little more than track the debt.

The UEP property has been valued at more than $110 million.

But the back taxes aren't the only financial problem in the FLDS communities. As reported last month by The Tribune, the UEP also owes Bruce Wisan — the fiduciary that was appointed to oversee the trust — more than $5 million. And on top of that, current and former members of the church all claim that they deserve property, some of which is occupied by other people, in the communities.

In other words, the back taxes are just one liability in a growing list of debts and interested parties all vying for a piece of the FLDS pie in Hildale and Colorado City. How to pay these debts is one of the questions that must be answered before the state can dissolve the UEP trust or end its management of it.

— Jim Dalrymple II