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Powerful problem

Prominent businessman Terence Golden’s

home sold for back taxes; ‘I paid,’ he says

(Published November 20, 2000)

By KATHRYN SINZINGER

Staff Writer

The $1.5 million Northwest Washington home of Terence C. Golden, a prominent D.C. businessman and major influence on local development and civic affairs, was sold at auction last July for failure to pay D.C. real estate taxes.

Golden, until recently the president and chief executive officer of Host Marriott Corp., told The Common Denominator he has paid the taxes on his Spring Valley home. A spokeswoman for the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) said a review of city tax records found "no evidence" of such a payment.

Since the property was sold at auction for $31,996.41 to Boston-based National Tax Assistance Corp., subsequent tax bills also have not been paid, according to OTR spokeswoman Jacqueline Wallace. She said delinquent taxes on the Glenbrook Road NW property currently total $43,838.94. Unpaid taxes totaled $17,996.41 when the property was advertised for the tax auction in legal advertisements published last June in The Washington Times and The Washington Informer.

"They must be wrong because I have been paying my taxes...I can’t imagine them selling my house with no notice," Golden said when contacted at his office Nov. 17. In subsequent voicemail messages, Golden and his executive assistant said they have cancelled checks that show the property taxes were paid in September.

"If he’s saying he paid his taxes, we have no record of him paying his taxes," Wallace said. "If he can provide some documentation, we need some kind of evidence. We’ve checked the manual files, we’ve checked the computer files...We have two years in arrears, not just one."

Wallace said Golden’s tax bills have been mailed to him at a Connecticut Avenue NW address for Bailey Realty Corp., which Golden told The Common Denominator he has not been at since 1994. Golden is chairman of Bailey Capital Corp., which the 2000 Haines Criss-Cross Directory says shares office space on 20th Street NW with Bailey Realty Corp.

"The taxpayer is responsible for informing us of their proper mailing address," Wallace said. She said the Connecticut Avenue address is the "address of record" provided to the city by Golden and his wife, Kathleen S. Golden, with whom he jointly holds the deed.

Golden, an executive committee member of the powerful Federal City Council business group who chaired the Washington Convention Center Authority Board of Directors when the decision was made to build a new convention center, was appointed in June to a volunteer position on the D.C. financial control board’s new Educational Advisory Committee. He was among influential community members in attendance at Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ recent press conference to announce mayoral appointments to the new D.C. Board of Education.

Golden’s name also surfaced recently as part of an effort by the nonprofit organization DC Agenda that quietly raised more than $83,000 last May to campaign in favor of the charter amendment that changed the makeup of the D.C. Board of Education. Golden personally donated $25,000 to the campaign fund and solicited contributions from others, according to records made public by the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance when it recently fined DC Agenda for violating campaign finance law with the fund. All of the contributions were returned and the fund was disbanded after civic activist Dorothy Brizille filed a complaint with the campaign finance office.

Copyright © 2001 The Common Denominator