July 30, 2014

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Arkansas, Latest News

NEW WEB AD: Hutchinson's Tax Cheating Shows He Can't Be Trusted To Fight For Middle-Class Families

The Democratic Governors Association today released a new web ad, “Cheat,” which features this week’s widespread news coverage detailing how Congressman Asa Hutchinson cheated on his property taxes for years and then seemingly lied about it when he got caught. On Sunday, the Arkansas-Democrat Gazette exposed that the longtime D.C. lobbyist, big-spending Washington bureaucrat, and Virginia voter took a homestead property tax credit he wasn’t entitled to in violation of state law. The scandal has dogged him all week.

Watch “Cheat” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imE_5HPU_uo

“Congressman Hutchinson has shown just how out of touch he is with Arkansas values by cheating on his taxes and evading the penalties for doing so for years,” said DGA Communications Director Danny Kanner. “While this illegal conduct may be how the lobbyists and big-spenders like Hutchinson play the game in the back rooms of Washington, it’s not what Arkansans deserve in a governor. If middle-class families can’t even trust Hutchinson to honestly pay his taxes like they do, they certainly can’t trust him to fight for them.”

BACKGROUND:

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette: Hutchinson “Took A Homestead Property Tax Credit That He Wasn’t Entitled To” On Second Property. “Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson took a homestead property tax credit that he wasn’t entitled to in Pulaski County, repaying some of the money shortly before he said he intended to run for governor. Hutchinson improperly claimed the $350-a-year homestead property tax credit for homes in both Benton County and Pulaski County in tax years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, said Joe D. Thompson, chief assessment administrator for the Pulaski County assessor’s office. State law allows people to receive the credit only on one home.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/27/14]

Hutchinson Initially Said He “Never Claimed” Pulaski County Homestead Credit, Was Later “Surprised” To Discover He Had Signed And Filled Out Application. “In interviews, Hutchinson acknowledged that he was aware in 2007 that he couldn’t claim the tax credit on both homes simultaneously. He initially said Friday that he ‘never claimed’ a homestead credit in Pulaski County, and ‘it was assigned to me,’ without his knowledge. However, the assessor’s office has a homestead credit application, dated March 2, 2007, and signed by Hutchinson. After he was faxed a copy of the application by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Hutchinson said it appears that the property record is correct and that he’s surprised that he had filled it out.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/27/14]

Hutchinson Claimed He “Discovered” Mistake In 2012, Repaid Three Years’ Worth Of Unpaid Taxes Shortly Before Announcing Campaign Plans. “Hutchinson said he discovered in 2012 that he was getting the homestead property tax credit in Pulaski County. ‘[I] discovered it myself,’ he said. He wasn’t exactly sure how he discovered it, saying that he could have learned about it when he refinanced the purchase of the Pulaski County condominium and when he paid the taxes on it… ‘I immediately went down and made the correction,’ he said. He paid $1,050 to Pulaski County on Oct. 11, 2012, according to records in the Pulaski County treasurer’s office. Hutchinson, who lost to Democrat Mike Beebe in the 2006 governor’s race, announced on Jan. 4, 2013, that he ‘fully intends’ to run for the governor.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/27/14]

 

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