Little Yukon Greenhouse founder asks for tax leniency

The founder of the Little Yukon Greenhouse asked the Crow Wing County Board Tuesday for an extension on paying property tax money owed on several parcels of land.

The founder of the Little Yukon Greenhouse asked the Crow Wing County Board Tuesday for an extension on paying property tax money owed on several parcels of land.

Deloren Anderson, who owned greenhouse locations in Baxter and Crosslake, has three confessions of judgment with the county that are in default. He asked the board for "special consideration" due to several health issues he's faced.

Anderson said he had prostate cancer in 2011 and endured radiation treatment and hormone therapy. Then, last year, he suffered a stroke and lost some mobility. He just needs some extra time, he said, to generate the $90,000 needed to pay off his tax debt.

"Being self-motivated all my life, I'm usually helping others rather than asking for help," Anderson told the board. "At this moment, due to the series of hardships and impairment on my earning ability, I find it necessary at the age of 69 to ask for some consideration in regards to my default confession of judgments."

A confession of judgment is a written agreement acknowledging an amount owed and an agreed required payment.


Anderson said he has paid upwards of $45,000 in back taxes in the last few years, and that he is working on a design for a new LED light bulb which could help him make payments.

"At the time that they sign the confession, they are agreeing that they owe the taxes that are due," said Deborah Erickson, taxpayer services manager at the auditor-treasurer's office. "They are agreeing to make the payments as noted, and they recognize that if the confession goes into default, that it automatically jumps into forfeiture."

Erickson noted Anderson had come before the board once before, in May 2013, asking that a confession in default not be cancelled, and the board granted his request. Anderson came to her office again in March 2014 and asked for a six-month extension until this month, which was granted.

Anderson did pay back taxes, Erickson said, but none of this money addressed issues with the confessions, but rather kept nine other parcels from going onto the tax forfeiture list.

"There have been no payments for the three parcels that are in default for more than two years," she said.

Commissioner Rachel Reabe Nystrom asked Erickson if setting a precedent was a concern in this case.

"We have a full drawer of people who have confessions of judgment on their properties," Erickson said. "I am very concerned that if we continue to extend, continue to extend, continue to extend, that every one of those confessions that we have in that drawer is going to want the same situation."

Erickson said the office has leeway in working with people with confessions of judgment, including accepting partial payments and payments up to three months late.


"If people didn't have hardship circumstances in the first place, they wouldn't have entered into a confession to begin with," she said. "I have great concerns to continue offering extensions to one particular person over and over again, if we're not allowing the same consideration for everybody. ... We need to make sure we are following the law."

Anderson responded, telling the board if they failed to grant him an extension, he would be forced to abandon the properties and no one would be paying taxes "until this whole thing is fixed."

"I disagree with Debby as far as opening a can of worms," Anderson said. "This is a special thing. I've had hardships piled on top of each other that are unusual."

Commissioner Paul Thiede asked what rationale the board would have to grant the extension.

"We don't write the foreclosure laws, we just have to apply what's fair," Thiede said. "This process is not unknown or new to you."

Anderson acknowledged this, but continued his request for special consideration.

"If you don't think that cancer and a stroke and all this medication will slow you down, you need to go through it," he said. "I don't think it's duplicated by anybody."

Anderson said he's been a taxpaying business owner in the county for more than 40 years, paying more than $30,000 per year in taxes.


"Don't criticize another man until you've walked in his shoes," Thiede responded. "I suggest that you're walking on dangerous ground saying you're the only one who's gone through this."

Commissioner Paul Koering interjected.

"I wasn't going to say anything, but I've got to say something," Koering said. "My dad has cancer but he's paying his property taxes. ... A lot of people have hardships."

Erickson noted Anderson does have an option to take out a second confession of judgment on one of the three parcels and this would not require any action from the board.

"That's something he can do with our office directly," she said.

County administrator Tim Houle told the board Anderson's request would not be addressed Tuesday and would need a motion for the issue to be added to the next board meeting agenda.

"If nobody makes the motion, or it doesn't pass, I think it conveys that you are not interested in extending the consideration," Houle said.

Nystrom moved to include Anderson's request on the next agenda, but the motion died without a second.


Commissioner Rosemary Franzen advised Anderson he would need to be in touch with the auditor-treasurer's office for anything further on his case.

Chelsey Perkins is the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch. A lakes area native, Perkins joined the Dispatch staff in 2014. She is the Crow Wing County government beat reporter and the producer and primary host of the "Brainerd Dispatch Minute" podcast.
Reach her at or at 218-855-5874 and find @DispatchChelsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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