James C. Justice Cos., owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s family, has finally paid its Albemarle County taxes.
The company, which had owed $311,103.68 to the county in unpaid taxes and fees for real estate it owns, recently made a wire payment of $404,654.48, according to county staff.
The payment covers all delinquent taxes and fees, plus the first half of 2019 taxes, which were due June 5.
In March, the county had started the tax sale process on 52 of the company’s 55 parcels in Albemarle, southeast of Charlottesville.
“Together with our attorneys, Jonathan Wren and Andy Herrick, we worked diligently in collecting these delinquencies and we are happy that our efforts paid off and this money is now in the county’s coffers,” Rocio Lamb, Albemarle’s chief of revenue administration, said in an email to the county Board of Supervisors.
The county had planned to take the Justice Companies’ properties to tax sale in November. The process normally takes a year or longer, but the county was pushing for a quicker sale due to the large past-due tax bill.
A delinquent taxpayer normally has up to the date of the tax sale to pay the bill.
Many of the properties that were delinquent are part of acreage referred to as the Presidential Estates. They were purchased by the Justice organization from MeadWestvaco Corp. in 2010 for $23.75 million.
The properties sit just south of James Monroe’s Highland and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.
Justice, a billionaire businessman who was elected West Virginia governor in 2016, amassed a fortune in the coal, timber, agriculture and recreation industries. He also owns The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.
In a 2011 interview with Charlottesville Tomorrow, Justice said he was “open-minded” to different uses of the land.
Since then, logging operations have been the primary activity on Presidential Estates and the property has gone undeveloped.
In 2017, portions of the property were cleared for an unknown purpose, and the county was unable to contact the property owner. A neighbor complained after materials from ground-up stumps on the property were washing onto their land and driveway.