EXCLUSIVE: Bevin Late Several Times on Property Taxes, Records Show

NOTE: This story first appeared on June 19, 2015, on WAVE-TV. Following up on a tip, I revealed that Republican candidate for Kentucky governor Matt Bevin had been late to pay his property taxes. In a second story, I discovered that his business had also been a property tax delinquent. Bevin began publicly accusing me of working for his Democratic opponent.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) — Republican candidate for Kentucky governor Matt Bevin has been late to pay property taxes on land he owns in other states at least 10 times since 2002, documents indicate.

Local officials in Greenwood, Maine and Leesville, Louisiana provided the documents at the request of WAVE 3 News. Combined, they show Bevin paid more than $1,100 in interest and penalties to settle property tax bills.

Bevin disputed the numbers but did not provide an explanation for what the Maine and Louisiana officials provided.

“Do you really think that I don’t pay my property taxes?” Bevin asked a reporter Friday. “Send them (the documents) to us and I’ll follow up with you, absolutely.”

Bevin was late to pay taxes on his vacation home in Maine at least four times between 2002 and 2008, according to paperwork from Greenwood Town Manager Kim Sparks. Bevin paid $1,006.64 in interest and fees, the documents indicated. The interest and fees are all because of late payments, Sparks said in an email.

[RELATED: Documents on Matt Bevin’s Maine property taxes]

Records showed that Bevin had to pay more than $1,000 in late fees.

Records showed that Bevin had to pay more than $1,000 in late fees.

Bevin owns three parcels relating to his vacation home. Sparks provided information for one of the parcels and said she’d send a complete report next week because she was out of the office Friday.

Bevin first came under scrutiny for property tax payments during the 2014 U.S. Senate race, when it was revealed he once had a lien filed against the Maine vacation home. He settled the lien the following year, and his Senate campaign blamed it on a mistake by his new mortgage company.

Separate documents show Bevin was tardy in paying taxes on land he owns in Louisiana six times from 2004 to 2010. The late payments cost Bevin $99.60 in interest and penalties, said Stacy Lewis, the Leesville tax collector.

The parcel that Bevin owns is an empty lot, a representative for the local tax assessor’s office said.

[RELATED: Documents on Matt Bevin’s Louisiana property taxes]

Ben Hartman, a Bevin campaign spokesman, responded by attacking Bevin’s opponent, Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, for not releasing a jobs plan.

“His campaign is desperately trying to distract voters from that fact, and Kentuckians deserve better,” Hartman said in a text message.

Hartman later said Bevin’s taxes are paid “in full.”

Conway’s campaign gave WAVE 3 News a list of properties Conway owns partially or outright. They include 25 percent of two condos in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; 25 percent of a property on Nolin Lake in Grayson County; four undeveloped parcels in Louisville’s Preston Commons; and his primary home in northeast Louisville.

“To the best of my knowledge, there are no late taxes,” said Daniel Kemp, a spokesman for Conway.

Bevin and Conway’s primary homes in Louisville have no delinquent taxes dating back to 2004, according to the Jefferson County Clerk’s office. The four undeveloped parcels that Conway owns also have no delinquencies.

Online records in Beaufort County, South Carolina show taxes on Conway’s condo properties have been paid in full since 2005.

A representative for the Grayson County Clerk said the Nolin Lake property has no tax delinquencies dating back to 1991.


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