State treasurer candidate Doug Ducey had a lien placed on his Paradise Valley home for failure to pay property taxes, and paid two years worth of taxes shortly after he filed to run for office, according to the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office.
The county put a $15,000 lien on Ducey’s home over $12,200 in unpaid taxes in 2008, county property tax records show. Ducey was also delinquent in paying his 2009 property taxes.
The former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery paid back taxes for both years in May, three months after he filed to run in the Republican primary for treasurer.
Ducey did not say why he did not pay his property taxes in 2008 and 2009, saying only that he made a mistake.
“These taxes were paid as soon as we were made aware of them,” he said.
Ducey’s opponents, however, have taken aim at him over the tax issue. Democrat Andrei Cherny held a press conference at the Capitol on Aug. 9 to chastise Ducey over his unpaid property taxes, and said the incident calls into question Ducey’s ability to do the job of treasurer.
“A treasurer can’t make those kinds of mistakes. And if a treasurer can’t pay his taxes, then you worry about his ability to do his job,” Cherny told the ~Arizona Capitol Times~.
Fellow Republicans criticized Ducey as well. Sen. Barbara Leff, one of four candidates vying for the GOP nomination, said Ducey’s failure to pay property taxes for two years shows an inattention to the kinds of details that are critical for the state treasurer to address.
“He is Tim Geithner,” Leff said, referencing Obama’s treasury secretary whose unpaid taxes became a major issue during his 2009 Senate confirmation. “He might as well join the Obama adminsitration. They don’t pay their taxes either.”
Cherny and Leff also accused Ducey of not listing all of his investments on the financial disclosure statement that candidates must fill out, and an attorney from a law firm representing the Arizona Democratic Party requested an investigation into the issue.
But in a July letter to the attorney, the Secretary of State’s Office said there was no evidence that Ducey violated financial disclosure laws, and said the matter was closed.