San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

Auctioneer Mary Beth Justice, who works for the Internal Revenue Service, sells off property belonging to a Woodcreek man who refused to pay federal income tax. PHOTO by BRAD ROLLINS


At least a half-dozen armed federal officers stood guard this morning at a tax foreclosure auction on the San Marcos courthouse square of property belonging to a member of the Republic of Texas separatist group.

The Internal Revenue Service seized a golf course frontage house in the Woodcreek subdivision and an office/apartment triplex on Ranch Road 12 in Wimberley owned, according to the Hays Central Appraisal District, by an entity called WPA Holdings.

Sources said the man behind WPA Holdings has ties to the Republic of Texas separatist group, which does not recognize the U.S. Treasury Department’s legal authority to collect personal income tax. Law enforcement sources said the property owner, a Wimberley dentist who lived in Woodcreek, refused to pay federal taxes over the course of several years until his land was ordered auctioned by a federal judge. The Republic of Texas considers the U.S. government an occupying authority and Texas a sovereign nation state.

The properties were sold without incident under a pecan tree on the grounds of the old Hays County Courthouse in San Marcos this morning. They fetched a total of about $315,000.

Liquidation specialist Mary Beth Justice, who conducted the auction, declined to discuss if threats were made against the auction or what otherwise prompted the level of security. Two of the plainclothes officers told the Mercury they work for the Treasury department and sources said the detail included FBI agents.

“We just want to be safe,” Justice said.

A total of three people registered to bid for the properties, including former Hays County Judge Elizabeth Sumter, who made the winning bid of $110,000 for the house. Another former county judge, Jim Powers, was also seen at the auction this morning but left before bidding began.

“If I had known Liz was going to be there, I would have stayed and bid on them,” Powers quipped later in a phone conversation. Powers, a Dripping Springs businessman, lost the 2006 general election to Sumter.

Sumter also bid on the commercial property before but got outbid. Before the auction began, she asked Justice what would happen if someone bought the house and it was burned out before the new owner took possession. Justice said the new owner assumed any risks and should check into buying insurance.

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14 thoughts on “Security tight for auction of Republic of Texas member’s property

  1. You have the love how a county judge ended up getting a sweet deal on the seized property of a government-hating tax dodger. And yes, Liz, I’d get that property fully insured before sundown.

    BTW, I think the article should name the dentist in question. Surely he wouldn’t have a problem letting his neighbors and patients know that he refuses to pay the taxes they legally pay year in and year out to cover little incidentals like schools, public safety, roads and military protection.

  2. I found a flyer posted online by the “Republic State of Texas” listing Richard Wetzel as the “West Central Texas Coordinator”. Local chapter meetings take place at the Wimberley Family Dental Clinic.

  3. Hope the buyers did their homework. If there are liens superior to the IRS liens, they purchased subject to those liens.

    May not have been such a good deal if that’s the case.

    And it seems odd to me that two ex county judges would be bottom feeding at the IRS auction. Well, maybe not.

  4. Hey, Sumter got a house valued (per CAD) at $235k for $110k. I wish I had known about it – I may have made a run at that house myself….

  5. Dano, problem is you pick up all the real estate taxes and any superior liens as well. And you need cash on the barrel head.

  6. True enough…..but since property taxes are levied by the state and not the federal government, maybe he was paying them….

  7. Seems strange that this is the first media coverage of this and we are learning about the sale of the man’s property. I’m curious what kind of due process this man got.

    BTW Tari- Income taxes don’t pay for schools and road. I don’t believe he was refusing to pay property taxes.

  8. Mr. Young, it would depend on how the IRS decided to foreclose. There is a judicial method, but I doubt they used it. Most likely they filed the lien in the Hays County public records, and followed the procedures for that method of foreclosure.

  9. Winchester: I bet there was no jury and I further I wager that the IRS filed at Notice of Lien, rather than filing an actual lien.

  10. Mr. Young, why would there be a jury if they pursed a nonjudicial foreclosure? And what exactly do you mean by “an actual lien”? See I believe 26USCA 6332 et seq

  11. If on the other hand your issue is did the IRS give the taxpayer proper notice, foreclose at the right time and/or location, that is another matter, and is a fact issue specific to this sale.

  12. The guy was an admitted tax cheat and some people are actually acting like he got a bum deal from the government.

    Anyone who refuses to pay their taxes is a crook, period. The payment of income taxes is not only a legal but also a civic duty and it’s beyond pathetic to see anyone refuse to pay taxes under the guise of patriotism.

    Their noncompliance drives everyone else’s taxes up, and they can’t be dealt with harshly enough to suit me.

  13. Dano

    I believe refusing to pay a tax that you honestly believe to immoral or unconstitutional is the highest form of patriotism. I personally pay my income taxes because I pick my battles and am scared of the IRS collection practices, not because I consider paying them is a “civic duty”. This country was founded by tax protesters.

    Reagan’s Grace report said that one-third of all income taxes is consumed by waste and inefficiency in the federal government, and another one-third escapes collection owing to the underground economy. “With two thirds of everyone’s personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the federal debt and by federal government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services [that] taxpayers expect from their government.”

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