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Tax troubles set back developer

By   /   Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009  /   Comments Off on Tax troubles set back developer

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Unpaid taxes totaling nearly $300,000 are the latest problems piling up for Robert Fowler, the owner of a 100-acre tract near the Santa Margarita Ranch in San Luis Obispo County.

California officials have issued a $293,757 tax lien against Fowler. Last fall, he received a default notice on the 100-acre parcel in Santa Margarita that he bought for $2.2 million in 2006, according to title records.

His parcel is close to a proposed 111-home development at the Santa Margarita Ranch that was approved by the SLO County Board of Supervisors late last year and is tied up in litigation over that approval.

Fowler told the Business Times he was making $20,000 a month payments on his taxes and was blindsided by the tax lien.

According to state tax records, Fowler owed about $619,000 in taxes, penalties and interest for the 2005 tax year. Payments and adjustments brought down the total owed.

Until June, Fowler was an officer at Ventura-based developer R.W. Hertel & Sons, a company whose creditors have sought to force it into bankruptcy and whose state contractor’s license has been suspended.

“As you might imagine, being a homebuilder, things have been very difficult in the past few years," Fowler said. He said the default notice on his Santa Margarita property had been rescinded.

For the full story, including Fowler’s first in-depth public comments, get a copy of the Feb. 6 edition of the Pacific Coast Business Times.

This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 4, 2009.

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