State Tax Agency Files a $49,000 Lien on Home of Central Basin Director Juan Garza

THE $49,000 FTB LIEN filed on Central Basin Director Juan Garza’s home on May 30, 2024. Click on image to view larger document.

July 10, 2024

By Brian Hews • (email protected)

Los Cerritos Community News has obtained a document showing that Central Basin Municipal Water Director Juan Garza and his wife Mayra, a Bellflower Unified School District Board Member, were hit with a massive $49,000 tax lien filed by the California Franchise Tax Board on May 30, 2024.

The public document states that the Garzas “were liable under Parts 10 and 11 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code,” which are related to business income and partnerships.

Questions to Garza sent this morning have yet to be answered.

The revelation of the FTB action will not sit well with Central Basin employees and contractors, some of whom Garza has accused of financial malfeasance for months – while he was under an FTB investigation and eventual assessment himself.

Garza also slammed GM Alex Rojas and eventually voted to place Rojas on leave, and a contractor called Capstone for major fraud, citing work from questionable auditors; this while Garza was receiving letters from the FTB warning of an impending property lien.

Even more shocking, the lien was based on the Garzas’ 2022 tax returns, which would have included income from Garza’s representation of Joaquim Garcia, a convicted child rapist and pedophile who was the leader and pastor of La Luz Del Mundo Church.

An LCCN investigation found that Garza, who admitted he was a member of La Luz at the time and called Pastor Garcia “a prophet”  in a text exchange with LCCN, represented and was paid by Pastor Garcia and La Luz immediately before he was convicted.

One of the sections in Part 10 of the Revenue and Taxation Code that Garza is liable under refers to “Non-Resident Income.”

The FTB records a tax lien as a “last straw” scenario and only after extensive collection efforts have failed. That indicates that the Garzas either never communicated with the FTB or that the couple stopped communicating after a certain amount of time.

Targets of an FTB investigation have many chances to avoid financial armageddon before the lien is filed. The process starts with several letters from the FTB outlining the debt and demanding payment. If the targets do not respond, a 30-day notice of lien is mailed. Thirty days later, the lien is filed with the local county recorder, in Garza’s case, the Norwalk Registrar/Recorder.

Once the notice is received, the FTB offers the opportunity to file for a review of the FTB findings. At that point the taxpayers could set-up a payment plan and get up to sixty months to pay the balance off, or offer a lesser total amount called “an offer in compromise.”  

But evidently the Garza’s did very little in the way of communications as evidenced by the FTB’s quick actions to place the $49,000 lien on Garza’s Bellflower home and “protect their interests.”

The FTB action stops the Garza’s from selling or refinancing their home or obtaining any kind of personal or business loans or other lines of credit, even a credit card. Interest and penalties accrue on the balance.

Questions to Garza asking why he refused a payment plan went unanswered. Garza also did not answer whether he is disputing the tax.

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