It's definitely not a Christmas card from the United Effort Plan Trust.
"Accordingly, each house and business located on Trust property will now be assessed a regular monthly payment of $100 to offset some of the considerable expenses of the Trust," said the notice sent to residents in the border towns of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Ariz., an enclave of the Fundamentalist LDS Church.
The notice threatens eviction to people who live on UEP land if they don't sign an occupancy agreement and start paying the assessment beginning January 2008. The UEP is the real-estate holdings arm of the FLDS Church, which controls homes, businesses and property in the communities. It was taken over by the courts in 2005 amid allegations that polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs and other top FLDS officials had been fleecing it.
Since then, court-appointed special fiduciary Bruce Wisan has been trying to subdivide the communal property.
The notice blames Hildale and Colorado City for delays in subdividing the land in the towns, which are home to members of the Fundamentalist LDS Church.
The cities have demanded that the UEP Trust make significant infrastructure improvements before subdivisions are approved, and required numerous government departments to sign off on the subdivision plats.
"From the beginning, the Trust has encountered non-cooperation, delay and, in some cases, outright obstruction from the city governments," Wisan wrote in the notice.
Hildale Mayor David Zitting told the Deseret Morning News he received a notice on Thursday morning.
"We're looking at this," he said, adding that the city is consulting with its attorneys.
The notice said that if the $100-a-month fee is a financial burden, alternative arrangements can be made with the fiduciary.
Wisan's attempts to enact court-ordered reforms to the UEP Trust have been met with resistance from many FLDS faithful. At first, they refused to pay property taxes acting under an edict from Jeffs to "sign nothing." After eviction notices were posted on a few homes, many started making payments to the Washington and Mohave (Ariz.) assessors.
Fiduciary lawyer Jeffrey L. Shields said it may have to happen again."We got the same reaction about the taxes two years ago," he said Thursday. "We may have to do the same thing this time."
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