Landowner appeals $3.7M tax judgment

TAX COLLECTIONS: The Department of Revenue and Taxation office is shown. Rev and Tax has won a $3.7 million judgment against taxpayer Danny Leon Guerrero, who is appealing his case. Post file photo

A landowner who was ordered to pay $3.7 million in delinquent taxes and penalties filed a notice of appeal with the District Court of Guam.

Danny Leon Guerrero, through his attorney Daniel Berman, will appeal the judgment to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood ordered Leon Guerrero to pay unpaid taxes he owed from 1999 to 2002.

Leon Guerrero had purchased six parcels of land in Mongmong-Toto-Maite between November 2000 and May 2002. He subsequently transferred some interest in those properties to his ex-wife and to his sister in separate transactions.

Despite those transfers, Leon Guerrero owed taxes on these properties, the court decided. Leon Guerrero testified at trial that he was not “philosophically opposed” to paying taxes but he sincerely believed – and continues to believe – that the government of Guam owed him money, so that is why he was not paying his taxes.

The Department of Revenue and Taxation had difficulty finding the paper records of Leon Guerrero’s tax assessment because documents have been destroyed by rainwater, mold and termites. But the enforcement team presented evidence that the department completed an assessment of Leon Guerrero’s taxes in January 2006, which was included in the electronic database.

The judgment authorized the government of Guam to foreclose on six properties owned by the defendant, and then sell the properties and use 50% of the proceeds to pay the taxes owed.