Council member leaves amid questions over unpaid taxes
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.”