AR-House Dist. 41: Total Coincidence, I’m Sure

Yesterday, Max did a post about Rep. Ed Garner’s introduction of his capital-gains bill, and, in the post, he linked to an allbusiness.com reprint of a Democrat-Gazette article, writing:

Rep. Ed Garner, the Republican sales and income tax deadbeat from Maumelle, grabs a headline by getting to the front of the legislation-filing queue with another run at completely exempting capital gains from income tax.

At the time Max published his post, the link in that blockquote worked.  I know this because I clicked on it and read Seth Blomeley’s article from the 4 Feb 09 D-G.  If you click on that link today, however, you get “Sorry, the page you requested was not found.”

I am sure this is pure happenstance and not the result of Rep. Garner whining to the publisher of AllBusiness.com to take the article down.  After all, it’s not like Rep. Garner has shown other signs of being thin-skinned and extra sensitive to any and all criticism, no matter how factual it might have been.

Because I am sure Rep. Garner would not want to appear to be hiding from such things, I thought I would try to find the same article at a different link.  Luckily, dear reader, I was able to track down the Google cached copy, which you can view here.  Also, in case that happens to disappear — you never know when those pesky internet articles will just up and vanish, right Ed? — I have pasted the relevant parts of the article below the jump.

Rep. Ed Garner, R-Maumelle, a member of the state House Revenue and Taxation Committee, owes more than $50,000 in delinquent state sales and income taxes, according to the Department of Finance and Administration.

Garner’s business is Mama’s Manna bakery in Little Rock.

He said Tuesday he’s arranged a payment plan with the department to satisfy the debt.

“We’re current,” Garner said. “That was cumulative for troubles we had years and years ago. The company barely lived.” The two liens were filed Nov. 19, in Pulaski County Circuit Court by state Revenue Commissioner Tim Leathers. According to the liens, he owes: $47,769 for sales tax liabilities from August 1998 to July 2007. This is from tax his business is supposed to charge customers for buying items. Of this, he still owes $45,921, said Assistant Revenue Commissioner John Theis.

$17,033 for failing to turn over income tax withholdings from employee paychecks for tax years 1995, 1996, 1997 and an audit covering July 2002 to June 2008. Of this, he still owes $5,955, Theis said.

In January 2007, Mama’s Manna was on a department list of establishments at risk of being closed by the state for failure to turn over sales tax to the state.

Theis said the business is no longer on the list. He said he couldn’t give details, citing taxpayer confidentiality rules, but businesses in such situations often work out payments to pay the tax owed.

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Theis said he knows of no other legislator with tax liens filed against them. He said the department files about 9,000 liens a year.
[***]
In 2007, Mama’s Manna was on the delinquency list at the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau for failing to pay the tourism sales tax of 2 percent, commonly referred to as the “hamburger tax.” Lisa Spence, a tax collector with the bureau, said Tuesday that Garner has paid his delinquent tax, including penalties of $434 and interest of $253.

But she said he hasn’t paid any tax since October. Taxes are paid monthly, she said.

This article was published 02/04/2009

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