Rasheed Wallace still owes Multnomah Co. after failed payment attempt

Rasheed Wallace still owes Multnomah Co. after failed payment attempt »Play Video
Former Trail Blazer Rasheed Wallace (sitting), now an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons, ignores KATU reporter Dan Tilkin (center) at the Moda Center, Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 as he tries to ask Wallace about the $150,000 in taxes he owes on property in Multnomah County.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Rasheed Wallace, we have bad news: You still owe Multnomah County quite a bit of money in property taxes.

Last week KATU reported that Wallace was on a list of the biggest property tax dodgers in the county. He owed more than $115,000 in back taxes, a number that climbed to more than $150,000 a few days later when his next round of taxes came due.

We confronted Wallace on Nov. 11 about his outstanding tax liability while he was in town with the Detroit Pistons. The former Trail Blazer now works as an assistant coach with the team.

That same day, according to county records, his wife Fatima Wallace went on the Multnomah County website and tried to pay part of that bill – $34,686.91.

But here’s the problem: The bank number she entered didn’t exist and the county could not collect any money.

“If you don’t give us the right number you can’t make your payment,” explained county spokesman David Austin.

It’s not clear why Fatima Wallace didn’t enter a working account number. We tried to reach Rasheed Wallace on Wednesday night, but a spokesman for the Pistons said he was in Atlanta for a game and not available.

We’ll update this story if we hear back from Wallace on Thursday.

We also tried to ask Wallace about the unpaid taxes when he was in town last week but a public relations official for the Pistons blocked us from talking to him during a team practice.

Austin said when the payment failed, the county sent a letter that essentially said “we tried to collect the money and there was no money there.”

That means Wallace is still on the hook for the roughly $150,000 property tax bill, plus a 16 percent penalty for not paying on time, according to Austin.

“Property taxes are in place for a reason. They pay for services that people get,” Austin said.

He explained that roughly 98 percent of county landowners pay their property taxes on time. Tax collectors don’t relish the fact they have to assess penalties to the two percent who don’t.

“They’re pretty stiff penalties,” Austin said. “We don’t like having to go that route. We’d much prefer that people pay their taxes.”