One-time billionaire and Yellowstone Club founder Tim Blixseth owes almost $74 million in back taxes, penalties and interest in Montana, state revenue officials said Tuesday, after a tax board ruled that the real estate mogul diverted huge sums from the luxury resort for personal use.
Revenue officials said the Washington state resident and his former wife misappropriated more than $270 million from a 2005 Credit Suisse loan to buy luxury cars, jets and high-priced properties in Mexico, Scotland and elsewhere. Taxes also were assessed for unreported income during 2002 to 2004 and 2006.
Blixseth said the purchases were legitimate business expenses as he sought during the last decade to expand the Yellowstone Club ski and golf resort near Big Sky into an international club for the ultra-wealthy.
But the Montana Tax Appeal Board said in a series of rulings in recent months that Blixseth had failed to make his case.
“It is … the taxpayer’s burden to show that the expenses are the ordinary and necessary expenses of carrying on a trade or business,” board members wrote. “We find that Mr. Blixseth has not met that burden.”
Blixseth told The Associated Press that he plans to appeal the rulings in state District Court and to file lawsuits against officials involved in the case.