In 2015, the State of Texas shut down several group homes operated by Hutto City Councilman Michael Smith for “serious and pervasive noncompliance”. According to KXAN, Smith owes back taxes on that business which renders him ineligible to run for reelection this May, according to the Hutto City Charter, and also disqualifies him from currently holding office.
According to KXAN, Smith owes back taxes from 2014, 2015 and 2016. KXAN first asked Smith about the taxes Monday. On Tuesday, Smith said there was an error and he had paid the taxes. However, according to the Wilco Tax Assessor Website, they have not been paid as of 3pm today.
KXAN also reported:
In addition, a state investigation into Smith’s former group home business says Smith directed his HR director to falsify personnel information, among other issues, according to a 2015 Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services report obtained by KXAN through the Texas Public Information Act.
In that report cited, Investigators with Aging and Disability Services asked Kristen Smith, the wife of Michael Smith and current director of the Hutto Education Foundation, to produce a background check on a person who was in contact with disabled clients. Kristen Smith said she destroys all documents every month. The report went on to say:
“The review team informed her that she is required to maintain records for 6 years. Review team then requested a copy of the one page background verification sheet she produced earlier. Kristen S returned several minutes later and asked to speak to a reviewer in private. The reviewer informed her that she could speak in front of the tea,. Kristen S proceeded to admit she falsified the one page background verification that she produced earlier. She further stated she filled out the for to indicate some checks were performed on 1/29/15 because Michael S told her that’s when they were done. As such, the program provider HR Director admitted to falsification of personnel information at the direction of the program director.”
Another major issue was discovered by KXAN. When Smith was asked about an affidavit of identity he signed regarding one of the several liens filed against Smith, he told KXAN:
“It was clearly a mistake that was made, but it was caught,” Smith said. “A tax lien is paid before we see any dividends from the house. So, it is not that we sold the house and then paid off the lien.”
On November 7, 2016, a sworn affidavit of identity was filed, by Smith, with the Williamson County Clerk’s office. The affidavit states “Affiant is NOT the same person(s) named in the matters filed of record under the document numbers: 2016004330 Official Public Records, Williamson County, Texas.” Problem is, according to filed documents, 2016004330 was in fact Smith’s lien. Smith then executed a deed document at the same time, selling his home after signing the affidavit.
Strangely, just one day later, on November 8, 2016, the lien from the TWC Smith said did not belong to him was paid and the lien was released. The other lien for back taxes owed in the amount of $2,100.00 since 2012 was also paid by Smith, according to documents, on November 9th, 2016.
In all, Smith had multiple liens filed for unpaid wages to back taxes owed. Some were paid, others still show to have not been released. In fact, two additional tax liens were discovered (not reported by KXAN) totaling over $11,000.00 owed to the State of Texas.
On October 18, 2016, Smith shut down his business, filing a Termination of Existence form (under oath) with the Secretary of State stating he did not owe any taxes on the business. In fact, according to the Wilco County Clerks website, there are two liens under the businesses name that have not been released which could lead to even more problems for Smith. One lien is for unpaid taxes totaling $7,288.29 and the other for unpaid salary owed to a former employee in the amount of $3,850.00.
Smith, was one of 7 Council members who amended the City Charter in 2009. He of all people should know full well he stands in violation of the City Charter relating to the unpaid back taxes. Question is, will he abide by the same rules he put in place. Judging by his post on social media, apparently not.
Outstanding taxes, questionable affidavit found in Hutto Councilman’s records
HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — Michael J. Smith, an incumbent Hutto City Council candidate, has unpaid city taxes that could impact his eligibility to run for office. He filed a questionable affidavit in the county record related to a state tax lien, according to records obtained by KXAN.