Coun­cil mem­ber leaves amid ques­tions over un­paid taxes

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Dahlia Dan­dashi ddan­dashi@states­

Hutto City Coun­cil Mem­ber Michael Smith re­signed Mon­day, days af­ter ques­tions were raised about un­paid taxes.

The city made the an­nounce­ment in a news re­lease, and Smith con­firmed his de­ci­sion on his Face­book page.

Smith, who was also the mayor pro tem, had not paid $146.03 in lo­cal taxes due from 2014 to 2016 for his busi­ness called Be­yond the Lim­its as recently as Feb. 27, ac­cord­ing to a re­ceipt from the Wil­liamson County tax of­fice.

KXAN first re­ported the con­tro­versy over the taxes Wed­nes­day and said that Smith said he had made a mis­take and was un­aware of the out­stand­ing taxes un­til the TV sta­tion men­tioned them.

A can­di­date may not file to run in an elec­tion if there is an out­stand­ing bal­ance due to the city, un­der the Hutto city char­ter.

Con­tacted by the Amer­i­can-States­man last week, City At­tor­ney Charlie Cross­field said he was re­search­ing whether Smith was el­i­gi­ble to run again. Mayor Doug Gaul said he was go­ing to wait for ad­vice from Cross­field.

On his Face­book page, Smith posted Fri­day that he was in “con­stant con­tact with the mayor and city at­tor­ney” and planned “to work with them on what­ever course of ac­tion is de­ter­mined to be in the best in­ter­est of the city.”

On Mon­day, how­ever, Gaul an­nounced that Smith had re­signed.

“Af­ter con­sul­ta­tion with Michael to ver­ify the facts and con­sul­ta­tion with our city at­tor­ney, Michael Smith has sub­mit­ted his res­ig­na­tion ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately,” Gaul said in a news re­lease. “We would like to wish Michael the best of luck in the fu­ture and thank him for his years of ser­vice and ded­i­ca­tion to the city of Hutto.”

On his Face­book page, Smith said he de­cided to re­sign af­ter “a pe­riod of prayer and in­tro­spec­tion with my wife.”

“While I con­tinue to stand firm in my con­vic­tion that at no time did I in­ten­tion­ally vi­o­late the city char­ter, the re­spon­si­bil­ity still lives with me to main­tain my el­i­gi­bil­ity,” Smith wrote. “I’d like to thank the cit­i­zens of Hutto for grant­ing me the honor of serv­ing them for the last eight years, the great city staff that has helped us con­tin­u­ally move for­ward, and all the great Hutto busi­nesses that have sup­ported and en­cour­aged me over the years.”

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