Jacksonville councilor’s family business hit with another tax lien
Once a councilwoman, now a defendant in a fraud trial: Katrina Brown.

Katrina Brown

KJB Specialties, a business owned by the family of Jacksonville City Councilwoman Katrina Brown, was slapped with a $3,130 sales and use tax lien last Friday.

The Browns’ various shell companies are deeply in hock to public and private creditors, related to a barbeque sauce plant expansion that failed to create jobs (or, apparently, fiscal sustainability).

Below, a brief recap of some of the issues headed into the latest lien.

In February, KJB hired a bankruptcy lawyer, in response to a foreclosure action on the Browns’ flagship restaurant, Jerome Brown BBQ.

The Browns owe roughly $100,000 on that note.

The Brown family businesses have had a rough decade, with CoWealth LLC, another in their group of nebulously named companies, being sued by the city of Jacksonville for failing to create jobs in a 2011 economic development agreement intended to help the Browns take their BBQ sauce business to the next level.

As is the case with KJB, CoWealth is subject to its own foreclosure action.

The latest property being foreclosed upon, according to the Lis Pendens notice, is bordered by Ellis, Broadway, and Commonwealth Avenue on the Westside.

This property corresponds with the Browns’ barbeque sauce plant (5638 Commonwealth Ave.), which is currently listed at $1.3 million — down from $1.5 million months ago, indicating a motivated seller. That asking price is less than half of Biz Capital’s claim: $2.772M is what they claim is owed.

CoWealth originally borrowed $2.65 million from Biz Capital, in addition to $380,000 from the city. The city’s interest is subordinate to that of Biz Capital.

The Browns, via shell companies, received in 2011 an economic incentive package of $640,000 in loans and grants from the city of Jacksonville to create 56 jobs in the plant.

No jobs were created, however, and Jacksonville filed suit in February against CoWealth for $210,000, as a clawback for failed job creation.

Councilwoman Brown is a registered managing member of CoWealth, though that can change at any time, if the recent history of the Browns’ businesses means anything.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


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