Evangelist Juanita Bynum's $4.5 million South Georgia compound is scheduled to be auctioned off next month for non-payment of property taxes, officials said.
Ware County tax commissioner Steve Barnard filed a lien against the 23.6-acre property owned by Juanita Bynum Ministries on June 7, citing failure to pay $32,007.56 in 2006 property tax.
According to the lien, a $3,200 penalty and $2,240 in interest is also owed.
It's the latest legal drama involving the nationally known Pentecostal evangelist, who has been in the news in recent weeks after alleging she was beaten by her estranged husband, Thomas Weeks.
Bynum's publicist, Amy Malone, said Tuesday that Bynum had no comment on the tax bill or the planned auction.
Barnard said the property, on St. Bernard Trail near Waycross, will be sold at auction on Nov. 6 on the steps of the Ware County Courthouse. The auction will be canceled if Bynum Ministries, which still has ownership, pays the full amount before that date, he said.
Bynum's Waycross-based ministry bought the property for $4.5 million last year, according to Barnard.
He said there is a 7,487-square-foot house, a 6,748-square-foot house and a 1,366-square-foot house on the property. Bynum lives in one of the homes, he said.
Barnard said someone from Bynum's office called him last month, "wanting to know if they could set up a payment plan, and I told them if she sent me $25,000, I'd take it out of the [Nov. 6] sale, and she'd have 60 days to pay the balance."
That partial payment was supposed to be made by Sept. 28, Barnard said.
"I never received anything, and then last week, I received a check for $5,000 and someone from her organization called and wanted to know if we got the check," Barnard said. "I said, well, we got a check for $5,000 that was supposed to have been $25,000, and they wanted to know if that would take it out of the sale and I told them, no."Source: http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2007/10/16/bynum_1017_web.html