Richmond Company Pays Disputed Land Bank Transfer Fee

Jason Graziadei •

Richmond great point
The 225-apartment, 94-house Richmond Great Point subdivision under construction off Old South Road.

One week after the Nantucket Land Bank Commission slapped a $341,884 lien on Richmond Great Point Development's properties for failing to pay a transfer fee on an internal company transfer, it appears the dispute has been largely resolved. And it was Nantucket's largest housing developer that blinked first.

According to transfer documents obtained by the Current, the Richmond Company paid the Land Bank $287,544 on Tuesday. That sum covers the Land Bank tax on the $13.5 million transfer of the underlying ownership of the company, as well as $15,848 in interest, as the transfer occurred back in December.

Still at issue, however, is the $54,339 negligence penalty assessed by the Land Bank Commission on the Richmond Company for failing to pay the tax within a month of the transfer (the penalty accrues at $452.83 per day beginning 30 days after a transfer).

Richmond Company attorney Andrew Burek said his client intends to appeal the assessment of the penalty to the Land Bank Commission. 

"The penalty is still outstanding and needs to be evaluated and determined by the Commission," Land Bank executive director Jesse Bell said. "The Commission will decide on June 13 what they want to do."

Burek said the Richmond Company also intends to continue pleaded its case regarding the Land Bank's calculation of the transfer fee, even though it had opted to pay the tax in full.

Following the Land Bank's vote on May 23 to place the lien on 26 properties owned by the Richmond Company, its president, Phil Pastan, issued a statement in which he asserted that "my company has not refused to pay a transfer fee applicable to the change in underlying ownership, but only the extent to which the Land Bank’s Rules and Regulations impose that fee. As the largest provider of income-restricted housing on the island it is my position that, as a matter of policy, the Land Bank transfer fee should not be applied so inflexibly as to operate as an impediment to my ability to deliver an important resource to families in need."

The dispute began late last year after a transfer form was completed and submitted by the Richmond Great Point Development team but was ultimately rejected by the Land Bank. It revealed a transfer of "100% LLC Membership Interest" of 29 properties from JST Nantucket LLC and Joseph D. Prendergast and Arthur J. Epstein 2015 Revocable Trust to The Richmond Company, Inc.

But Pastan's company deducted the debt and the obligations assumed by the buyer, and Richmond Great Point Development asserted the transfer fee should be only $39,172 instead of the $271,000 claimed by the Land Bank.

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