Odessa City Councilman Speaks Out After Being Sued for Over $25,000 in Back Taxes

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - An Odessa City Councilman is speaking out after getting sued by the Ector County Appraisal District.

The lawsuit claims Velasquez owes more than $25,000 in back taxes, dating back to 2003.

District five Councilman Benjamin Velasquez spoke with NewsWest Nine.

He said while he was surprised to learn he owed the taxes, the appraisal district is working with him to fix what he says, was their mistake.

Velasquez, the owner of stellar media and its two radio stations, moved in at 1319 south Crane in 2003 and that's when the confusion began.

Velasquez owns multiple pieces of property and says he didn't know taxes were owed since he never got a statement for "that particular building."

Those statements were allegedly sent to various other addresses, except the right one.

Velasquez says he's been in contact with the appraisal district and both are working on a solution.

"I would expect that, they're going to write some kind of letter explaining the errors that were made.   It was during transition, like I say, I purchased a business and an account should have been created for Stellar Media and it was not.  Instead, one of the existing accounts was transferred, just changed the name on it to Stellar Media, which implicated that I owe taxes from previous years, that I don't, so they're going to get that corrected.

According to Velasquez, once all the errors are corrected, he should end up paying around $8,000 in penalties and interest.

The appraisal district's law suit against Velasquez is being handled by Odessa attorney Mark Flowers.

He has not returned our calls for a comment.