Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez has finished paying nearly $22,000 in back property taxes for 2017, ahead of the July 1 deadline when they would have been listed as delinquent and subject to collection.
According to Dallas and Ellis county tax records, the former Dallas County sheriff has paid $21,758 in 2017 taxes that were due Jan. 31 on seven properties she owns in Dallas County and one in Ellis County. She had paid $4,100 in taxes on those properties on time. Valdez’s real estate holdings include a mix of rental properties and vacant lots.
When news broke in May that Valdez had not paid some of her property taxes on time, her campaign spokesman, Juan Bautista Dominguez, pointed a finger of blame at her rival, Gov. Greg Abbott.
“As we’ve been saying all along, under Greg Abbott’s failed leadership, property taxes are unpredictable and burdensome for Texans everywhere, including Sheriff Lupe Valdez,” Dominguez said.
In his June 15 speech to the Republican State Convention in San Antonio, Abbott said, “As great as Texas already is, we know there’s more work that must be done if we are going to keep Texas the premier state in America.
“That starts by reining in your property taxes. The Democrats want to raise your taxes. I’m running for governor to make sure that never happens,” Abbott said. “Many of you are being crushed by skyrocketing property taxes. Some seniors are being taxed out of their homes. In fact, one candidate running for governor hasn’t paid her property taxes.”
As he said that, the giant screens at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention center flashed a picture of a smiling Valdez, who is 70, with a headline, “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Valdez owes over $12,000 in overdue property taxes,” sourced to the Houston Chronicle.
Valdez made her last payment on the overdue taxes June 12, when she paid more than $7,000 in back taxes on two fourplexes she owns and rents to tenants in her neighborhood of Oak Cliff.
Even as she was late on paying her property taxes, Valdez loaned her campaign $25,000.
On news of Valdez making good on the money she owed, Abbott tweeted: “Democrat candidate for Governor thinks YOU should … pay property taxes on time. But NOT her. She loaned her campaign the amount she owed in property taxes. @LupeValdez put personal politics above her duty to pay her taxes.”
Valdez responded with two tweets of her own Monday afternoon.
“My property taxes are paid, but have increased drastically since @GregAbbott_TX has taken office. I don’t rely on donations from CEOs & I decided to cover campaign expenses to fight for the everyday Texan. Like them, I had to make tough financial choices,” Valdez wrote in the first tweet.
That was followed by, “Unlike, @GregAbbott_TX I’m not beholden to special interests — I’m for the people. The state should fulfill its responsibility to pay its fair share of public education, stop raising taxes & quit putting the load on small businesses and local homeowners.”