By Anthony Caruso III
Heartland Motorsports Park owner Chris Payne is ready to take his battle to court. He is in a battle with the Shawnee County appraiser’s office.
He purchased the facility in Jan. 2016. However, this Jan. he admitted he was considering moving the facility outside of its current location and into the Kansas City, Missouri area.
Yet, Payne said this week that he would like to keep the track in Topeka, Kansas. He will be filing legal action in a fight against the appraiser’s office.
“Heartland’s had offers to relocate from other counties and areas that know the plight that we’re enduring with Shawnee County,″ Payne said. “We looked at them, but at the end of the day, Heartland Motorsports Park is not going anywhere.
“It’s staying in Topeka. We want to stay in Topeka and we’re not going to get pushed out of Topeka. We’re fighting, we’re here, we’re not going anywhere. It’s our town, it’s our track and this is where it needs to stay and I’m not going to let outside elements change that.″
While he says there is a good relationship with Topeka, he claims the problem is with the appraiser’s office. The two sides are reportedly beefing over taxes.
“The appraiser’s office is the issue,″ Payne said. “It’s not necessarily Shawnee County. It is the county appraiser’s office. They have been withholding certain items and they can’t support the value they put on Heartland. They can’t support it, so we’re going to let the legal system decide and deal with it.
“Heartland is not going to bow down and let it happen. Heartland’s getting taxed almost a thousand dollars a day for a 30-year-old facility open six, seven months a year — a thousand dollars a day, 365 days a year. Really? That’s beyond comprehension.″