While it should come as no surprise to candidates in the internet age, if a politician running for major elected office has some controversial aspect to their life or past, the public is bound to learn about it. A scandal has come to light in the race for the governor of Texas, now that the public has learned about back taxes owed by one major candidate. Learn more about the candidate’s tax situation below, and speak with a seasoned Dallas tax attorney if you owe back taxes in Texas and need help determining a way forward.
Candidate’s tax debt comes to light after primary
Lupe Valdez, former sheriff for Dallas County, earned the nomination as the Democratic candidate for governor in Texas on Tuesday, May 22. Only two days later, news came to light that Valdez owed over $12,000 in overdue property taxes imposed in 2017. The properties on which she owes the taxes are located in Dallas County and Ellis County. The back tax debt Valdez owes does not relate to her home in Oak Cliff. Valdez made one payment of $4,700 the following day, so that the debt is now down to slightly more than $7,000. Her campaign spokesperson told newspapers that Valdez has made an arrangement with the counties in which the properties are located to fulfill her remaining debt in the upcoming months.
Valdez’s spokesperson told members of the media that the current governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, deserves some of the blame for the former sheriff’s inability to stay current on her property taxes. He pointed out, “Under Greg Abbott’s failed leadership, property taxes are unpredictable and burdensome for Texans everywhere, including Sheriff Lupe Valdez.”
Texas law allows nonpayment of property taxes under certain circumstances
Valdez, who is 71, isn’t the only older Texan who struggles to pay their property taxes. Fortunately, Texas law includes a provision that offers relief to Texas seniors who owe property taxes. Texans over age 65, as well as those with a disability and certain others, who own their residence may file an affidavit with their tax assessor that states the reason that they do not have to pay the property taxes owed on their home. The homeowner will no longer be subjected to collection efforts, but they will still receive a bill.
The taxes don’t go away, however; they’ll be due whenever the home is sold or transferred to a different owner. Individuals who are still paying off their mortgage, and some with homeowner associations, may not qualify to defer their property taxes. Unfortunately for Valdez, the back taxes she owes weren’t assessed on her primary residence. A skilled Texas tax attorney can help you determine if you qualify for the deferral or are eligible for other forms of relief when you’re behind on your taxes.
For seasoned, dedicated, and professional assistance with your Texas tax bill, contact the Tyler tax attorneys at the Scammahorn Law Firm at 903-595-1000, with additional offices in Dallas.