White Oak to eventually pay beef plant property taxes

Farm Forum

It was largely a formality, but Brown County now has an agreement in writing under which White Oak Global Advisors vows it will pay delinquent property taxes for Northern Beef Packers when the sale of the plant is finalized.

Duane Sutton, Brown County commission chairman, announced the stipulation during the Jan. 21 meeting. It was approved during a closed session at last week’s commission meeting.

No matter the group, entity or firm that ultimately buys Northern Beef, it will have to pay the money due to Brown County because property taxes aren’t forgiven during bankruptcy procedures.

White Oak, based in San Francisco, appears the most likely buyer, having submitted the top bid at a bankruptcy auction last month. Its bid was $39.5 million in credit and $4.8 million in cash. It is the plant’s top creditor, having lent Northern Beef $35 million in 2012. But the deal has yet to be closed.

According to the agreement, the total owed in 2012 past due property taxes due last year, plus penalties and interest was $1.07 million as of Jan. 8.

Under the agreement, White Oak also promises it will pay 2013 property taxes due this year on time if the plant sale is finalized.