On the surface it seems like a good idea. Gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez bought and renovated several properties that she subsequently rented to people who were aspire to open businesses or somehow contribute to the community. She had been renting units at below-market levels for decades, and often bought the most rundown property on the block and fix it up for that purpose.

However, the former Dallas County Sheriff and federal agent, like so many others here in central Texas, has run afoul of skyrocketing property taxes. In 2017 during the Democratic runoff, it was revealed that she was behind in property taxes for her rental property and other acreage she owns. She has had to pay those taxes and the accompanying fines for late payment.

First responsibility to tenants

Valdez maintains that she has no regret about not paying the taxes. An unconventional candidate who does not have the traditional polish, she claims that she never has worried about the potential for political fallout of her not paying taxes on time. If she was concerned about the cost, it may be wise for her to take advantage of the robust real estate market and sell the property. However, she is quick to point that selling defeats the purpose of providing below-market rentals people in need.

Not paying taxes

While her heart is in the right place, Valdez has a history of not paying her taxes on time. It is always advisable to pay on time to avoid additional fines or audits. If that is not possible, it may help to speak with an attorney with experience in tax law. They can help determine potential issues that can lead to a reduction of penalties or an arrangement with local municipalities or the state.