A reminder of Republican Senator Jeremy Trebas’ dirty dealings in a commercial building in Great Falls.
Jeremy Buys a Building
In May of last year, Jeremy put up a Facebook post announcing that he bought the old Church of Christ Scientists at 1300 1st Ave N. in Great Falls through a shell company, Rearview Mirror LLC. The building was purchased at a significant discount, because an automatic sprinkler system had to be installed to bring the building up to code.
Jeremy Scams on Property Taxes
The building has been classified by the Montana Department of Revenue as “exempt” because it had been a church. Jeremy rented the building to The Break Forth Bible Church, likely thinking this would preserve the property tax exemption. Problem is it doesn’t. The exemption requires that the building be owned by a church. He paid just $267 in property taxes for the first half of 2022. This for a 9,000 foot commercial building close to downtown. The property is still misclassified by the Department of Revenue. (Don’t worry folks, we’ll contact them).
Jeremy Goes to Helena (Can You Say Self-Dealing?)
Jeremy introduced Senate Bill 195 in the Senate. The bill exempted his building from being required to have an automatic sprinkler system. The bill was opposed by Fire Marshalls across the state and was heavily amended, removing all of Trebas’ language exempting his own building.
Jeremy Puts the Building Up for Sale. . . at an Inflated Price
Now, Jeremy has put the building up for sale on Craig’s List. Sale price? $475,000!
So let’s break that number down a little. The appraised value of the building is $359,505. Keep in mind that appraisals generally assume that the building complies with building codes and other legal requirements. In other words, they do not discount for needed repairs. But the market does and WTF406 is confident that Trebas purchased the building below the appraised value. Now, after failing to change the law to benefit himself, Trebas has a financial albatross hanging around his neck. Will he find tenants for the building? Will he find someone to purchase the building at his inflated price? We think the answer will be “no” on both counts. Too bad for Jeremy.
To read about the whole story follow these links to our previous articles.