Owen Block Building (Dave Westrich)

It’s a 19th Century structure that has added character to Evansville, specifically the neighborhood along Chestnut Street, for many years.  Over the past several years, though, Owen Block, which is on the Preservation Alliance of Evansville’s Most Endangered Places list, has been utterly neglected by the owners of the property, Neuhoff Development, LLC, a company that quite paying taxes on the property in 2012.  Is this acceptable to the City of Evansville?  Is it acceptable to Evansville Residents?

I drive past this historic building almost every day and it's very sad to see the condition it's in.  It's always dampens my mood when I see historic buildings neglected and decaying.  (Yes, I could bring up other structures in the same neglected state, such as the McCurdy building, but that's a separate issue.)

The Owen Block building is going on the auction block with a beginning bid of $10,000.  According to state law, if a property owner skips paying at least three consecutive seasonal payments of county property taxes (18 months), the property can go to tax sale and the owner is not responsible for paying anything on the property.

Does this seem right to you?  Believe me, I’m not a proponent of taxes in any form, but since we all must pay taxes on property, income, etc., it seems only right that, whether one misses payments or not, and whether or not one is willing to part with the property, that person or company should have to pay the taxes on it.  What do you think?  Should the state law be changed so that the taxes on a property have to be paid or do you think the law is right the way it is?