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Governor Walker, Three Lawmakers Miss Tax Deadline

Governor Walker, Three Lawmakers Miss Tax Deadline

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Gov. Olene Walker and three legislators were among 22,000 property owners in the county listed as having failed to pay all of their property taxes by the Dec. 2 deadline.

Walker, whose proposed 2004 budget recommends hiring 11 staffers to increase collections of delinquent income tax payments, paid her $3,680.12 property tax and a $73.60 penalty on Monday following inquiries from The Salt Lake Tribune, which reported the alleged delinquencies in a copyright story Tuesday.

Walker's office said her missed payment was an oversight. At the time the taxes were due, Walker had just moved into the governor's mansion, and the tax bill might have been lost when Walker's mail was transferred to the mansion, said office spokeswoman Amanda Covington.

Reps. James A. Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, Neal B. Hendrickson, D-West Valley City, and Ty S. McCartney, D-Salt Lake City, also missed the deadline, according to the county's rolls.

McCartney, who owes $2,542.49 and a $50.85 fine on an eight-unit rental property, said he is late because the tax notice was mailed to the apartment complex and didn't reach him until the day after the taxes were due. He was on time with payments on three other properties.

Plus, he said, "I assumed that the taxes were being paid out of my mortgage." He plans to pay the tax bill before Jan. 15, when another fine would kick in.

Dunnigan's tax notice was sent to the undeveloped lot for which he owed $398.58 in taxes. Monday afternoon, he filled out a change-of-address form to get the bill sent to his home. He plans to take care of it as soon as possible.

"Thanks for letting me know," he told the newspaper. "We'll run some money down there."

Hendrickson did not return phone calls.

GOP County Treasurer Larry Richardson said he is embarrassed that public officials showed up on the list. He said he usually tries to call them to make sure they pay on time.

"I feel terrible," he said. "I try to look after my brothers and sisters, regardless of the party."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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