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Evangelist Bynum late again on Ware County property taxes

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA
Nov. 16, 2007
D. Aileen Dodd
www.ajc.com

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Saturday November 17, 2007

National evangelist Juanita Bynum is late on her property taxes again, according to the Ware County tax assessor’s office.

She owes $31,863.39 in property taxes on her sprawling $4.5 million compound in South Georgia.

“They were due yesterday,” said Ware County Tax Commissioner Steve Barnard Friday.

This is the second time in as many months Bynum has missed the deadline for paying the taxes on her 30-acre, lake-view property in Waycross.

Last month, Barnard threatened to auction off the land because of the pastor’s past due bill.

Bynum said the property was purchased to house the headquarters of Juanita Bynum Ministries and the Mt. Olive Country Spa for women seeking pampering, prayer and spiritual guidance. According to Bynum, her lawyers had applied for a tax exemption on the property, but the deadline for the property taxes came before the paperwork was complete. Taxes for that property were paid in mid-October after penalties had been added to the bill. However, the check for $33,000 presented in payment, was not from Bynum, said Barnard Friday.

“It was from New Light Church World Outreach Ministries … out of Houston, Texas,” Barnard said.

Barnard said he did not know why the church paid the bill. He said the money cleared the bank.

A call to New Light’s pastor Dr. I.V. Hilliard of Houston was not returned Friday afternoon.

If Bynum’s new tax bill is not paid today, late fees will begin to accrue at a rate of 1 percent per month — or about $318 — until the debt is paid off.

Another 10 percent penalty — $3,186 — will be added on the tax bill when it becomes 90 days late.

Bynum, who is planning a Valentine’s Day conference to address domestic violence issues, could not be reached for comment. Her publicist Amy Malone said she was unaware that the tax bill was late.

The 48-year-old pastor has accused her estranged husband, Thomas W. Weeks III, of beating, choking and stomping her to the ground in an Atlanta hotel parking lot in August.

The couple has since filed for divorce in Gwinnett County.

Weeks, who denies the beating, was charged with felony aggravated assault, terroristic threats and simple battery in connection with the alleged attack.

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