Green’s Liens Raise Questions

A legislative candidate in the May primary said he’s unfazed by a federal tax lien notice against him, two county building code violations and another lien claim made by a former concrete materials company.

All of the notices against Rathdrum’s John Green, who is opposing fellow Republican Doug Okuniewicz in the May 15 primary for the District 2 House B seat being vacated by Eric Redman, are on file at the Kootenai County Recorder’s Office and have not been rectified, according to the department.

The federal tax lien notice from the Internal Revenue Service states that the total unpaid balance of assessment owed by Green when he lived in Texas is $134,197.54. The amount is for the tax periods ending in 2000, 2001 and 2003. The notice was filed, signed and recorded in 2014.

Green said he believes the notice is “totally bogus.”

“I don’t owe them anything,” he said. “I’m in full compliance with all the federal tax laws.”

Green said he’s represented a lot of clients as a licensed attorney in Texas and Washington who are plagued by bogus filings. He said he’s also licensed through the U.S. Tax Court, an indication he said shows he’s compliant with federal laws.

Green said he is an outspoken critic of the IRS.

“I’ve fought the government for overreach,” he said.

Kootenai County Recorder’s Office staff said they don’t make the final determination if a filing is legitimate or not. Staff review the material to make sure it is signed and appears official. However, staff said they aren’t aware of any problems with bogus claims, and the notice against Green is just like all others the office receives from the IRS.

Kootenai County Clerk Jim Brannon, who oversees the Recorder’s Office, said his office can only assume the filing is legitimate by the type of information that’s sent. Further, if matters have been resolved, the Recorder’s Office is notified of the release.

“Liens either are or aren’t satisfied — there’s no middle ground,” he said. “We don’t make a judgment if they are valid nor do we give legal advice. We just compile and record the documents. If the Recorder’s Office says a lien is not satisfied, then I’m willing to make a wager that it is not satisfied.”

Bruce Friedland, an IRS spokesman, declined to comment on the notice.

Sandstone Materials filed a lien claim in 2009 against Green for an unpaid balance of $911.67. That was the same year Green said he built his home as the general contractor. Sandstone, formerly of Hayden, administratively dissolved as a company that year, according to the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office.

“I’ve never heard of them,” Green said of Sandstone.

Green said that of all the filings against him at the county, he’s most concerned about having the Sandstone claim removed because he said he never did business with them.

The building code violations, also unresolved according to the Recorder’s Office, were filed in 2014 for failure to complete required inspections for a home and carport.

Green said a paperwork snafu by the county prevented the structure documents from being recorded, but he said it’s a moot point anyway since the county recently approved giving property owners the option of opting out of the county’s residential building permit process. He said the opt-out decision will clear the matter.

“The house is perfectly safe,” he said. “I’ve lived in it for nearly 10 years now.”

Green, who ran for Kootenai County sheriff two and six years ago, said he’s also up to snuff with local property taxes.

“There are people who have not completed where they are living because they don’t want their tax rate to go up,” he said. “I’m paying the full tax rate.”

Green said he believes raising awareness about the filings at the county so close to the election is about a smear campaign.

“Funny that this is popping up three weeks before the election,” he said.

District 2 includes the Hayden, Dalton Gardens and Rathdrum areas.

By: Brian Walker,