Sweeney Doubles Down on Tax Hypocrisy

31 Jan

The Leader has offered up its version of the Arnold ballotgate story, by which the powers that be are using Hugo Chavez tactics to ensure their candidates are elected to city council by removing their opposition. In the story, we learn from Arnold City Attorney Bob Sweeney that personal property taxes do benefit Arnold:

“Sweeney also said that Arnold receives a small portion of the personal property tax revenue the county collects, so nonpayment disqualifies a candidate from running for an elected position in the city.”

This DIRECTLY CONTRADICTS what Sweeney said TWO YEARS AGO, when he distributed and endorsed a memo, written by someone else, in response to attempts to remove two of his cronies from the city council ballot (a memo that local news outlets are ignorant or dismissive of). The memo states (p. 5, emphasis in original):

“…if a candidate is in arrears, he/she is disqualified. However, the arrearage must be for municipal taxes/fees.”*

In the introduction he appended to this memo, Sweeney claimed that “it is not clear that either candidate referenced by Mr. Boyer is actually in violation of 115.342.” This is the law disqualifying candidates in arrears for, among other taxes, personal property taxes. But we know for a fact that Bill Moritz and Randy Crisler were in arrears as of the closing date of filing for the 2011 municipal election. So Sweeney’s statement can only mean they are not in violation because the law does not apply to municipal elections, which was his position at the time. As you can see, it is no longer his position.

To further advance the lie, in the Leader Sweeney said the city clerk is required to check that candidates are eligible to run. Again, to the memo (p. 2):

“First, it should be recognized that Section 115.352 (sic)…imposes NO duty on municipal clerks to determine the tax delinquency status of candidates.”

Can they be this blatant? The only explanation that would make sense here is that some law has changed since 2011. I have heard of no law cited that renders the 2011 memo irrelevant or out-of-date. Barring any such law, Sweeney and Co. are engaging in a bald-faced, politically-motivated, hypocritical act. Hopefully the courts get to weigh in on this, and soon.

*Arnold Ward 3 candidate Rodney Mullins is allegedly in arrears for city fees (he claims he sent in a check). Thus 115.346 would apply to him, although I see no statutory directive for the city clerk to make this determination. Arnold Ward 1 candidate Shaun Missey is allegedly in arrears on personal property taxes, thus making his situation exactly similar to that outlined in the 2011 memo.

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2 Responses to “Sweeney Doubles Down on Tax Hypocrisy”

  1. bmueller84 January 31, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    How could Shaun Missey be in arrears when he was not issued a personal property tax bill?

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  1. Property Tax Time | Jefferson County Penknife - December 2, 2013

    […] However, if you are a potential candidate who is in favor of big spending and cronyism, don’t worry about it. Pay your taxes when you feel like it. There will be no repercussions. […]

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