Ad Check: Mayor Parker attacks Hall's tardy taxpaying - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Ad Check: Mayor Parker attacks Hall's tardy taxpaying

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As the race for Houston Mayor enters it's final month the top candidates are leveling some pretty hefty shots at one another's character.

Mayor Annise Parker has chosen to attack challenger Ben Hall's integrity for the tardy manner in which he's paid his taxes.

"Hall has been penalized over $130,000 for late property taxes," says the ad narrator.

While it's true that the wealthy Hall missed multiple deadlines, records show he's always paid his tab, leaving none to whom he owed short changed.

The record is clear. He did pay his property taxes and he also paid a very substantial penalty and interest," said Bob Martin, Fox 26 tax and personal finance expert.

Martin says when it comes to shelling out extra to pay late, trial lawyer Hall has plenty of company.

"I hate to say it, but it's not unusual for self-employed people to fall behind in their bills because their income does not come in evenly," said Martin.

While the Parker campaign concedes Hall has broken no laws, their attack ad portrays the challenger's tax tardiness as selfish and his commitment to kids phony.

"A Ben Hall ad bragged about his commitment to our schools, but Hall owed $57,000 in unpaid school taxes," says the ad's narrator.

For granting Hall extra time to settle his bill, those he owed were compensated handsomely, although Martin says that's not the way public sector creditors prefer to do business.

"Unfortunately school districts and cities and counties have budgets to deal with and so they are not looking for extra revenue when people pay late. They do want to get the taxes on time," said Martin.

Bottom line - Parker's hoping to persuade voters to question Hall's judgment.

"Ben Hall wants to spend our tax dollars, but we can't trust him to pay his?," asks the ad's narrator.

The answer, based on the record, is yes he'll pay, but on his schedule, not the government's.

Martin says it's estimated 97 percent of local taxpayers settle their responsibility on time.

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