Tommy Sinclair won’t have to put up the purchase price for Mustang just yet, but he will have to pay the lion’s share of the 2007 property taxes on the town.

Last week, the interested parties in the town of Mustang went before Judge John Jackson, 13th District Court, to hash out a few issues, including whether or not would-be Mustang owner Tommy Sinclair would have to pay off the town now, or wait until an appeals court finalizes the issue.

In 2005, Bill McKie made a deal to sell Sinclair the roughly 75 acres on South I-45, but died before the deal had been completed. Marsha McKie has fought in court to hang onto the town, but last year Judge Jackson decided in Sinclair’s favor and awarded Sinclair possession of the town.

“Based on the plaintiff’s possession of the property, he shall pay property taxes accruing after May 17, 2007,” Jackson wrote in his decision dated May 1, 2008.

The property is appraised at $464,300, according to the Navarro Central Appraisal District. Sinclair will have to pay about $360,000 for it, because of legal costs, interest and back rents subtracted by Judge Jackson. The original purchase price was $600,000, according to the 2005 Sinclair/McKie contract.

Taking into account lawyer’s fees, back rents and interest, the sale price was reduced by about $250,000. However, one of the “offsets” was a $57,000 abstract against Marsha McKie, personally, and as the executor of her husband’s will.

The abstract acts as a lien against her non-Mustang property.

“She’s entitled to have the abstract against her lifted,” argued her attorney, Roger Diseker, last week in the hearing. Diseker’s argument was that Sinclair is supposed to pay McKie for the property, not the other way around. Even if she loses the appeal, she will simply lose more of the purchase price, her attorney said. She shouldn’t have to pay anything, or have any more of her property tied up than it already is, Diseker argued.

The judge agreed.

“The abstract of judgment against Marsha McKie, individually and as executrix shall be released or set aside,” the judge wrote. “The court finds the Plaintiff’s judgment is adequately secured without such security; and that the same unduly restricts Ms. McKie’s transaction of other business.”

However, the judge agreed with Sinclair’s attorney, Marty Price, that it’s not necessary for Sinclair to put McKie on his insurance policy. McKie’s lawyer argued that while the town’s fate remains in limbo, that if there were an incident at one of the clubs or the trailer park, that McKie could be sued as a party in the property.

“Because the plaintiff (Sinclair) is wholly in control of the subject property, the Court finds little basis for a liability claim that could be successfully asserted against Defendants,” Jackson wrote. “The request for additional coverage is denied.”

Sinclair said he’s pleased with the results of the hearing, particularly that he doesn’t have to pay the purchase price until the judgment becomes final at the end of the appeals.

“I’m thrilled,” Sinclair said. “He was very fair with it, which is what we were expecting.”

McKie could not be reached for comment.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jacobs@corsicanadailysun.com

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