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McCarty wins tax flop, Maxwell folds

Fayette County Commissioner Eric Maxwell made good on his promise Monday, dropping a lawsuit against Commissioner-elect Allen McCarty after McCarty’s attorney showed proof that he had indeed paid off in full a delinquent sales tax owed the state of Georgia.

Maxwell’s suit, filed two weeks ago, alleged that McCarty should have been disqualified as a candidate in the election, and thus not allowed to take office, since he owed the state sales tax at the time he qualified for election.

On Monday, Maxwell — who was beaten by McCarty in the primary 7,544 to 6,346 — was provided copies of the cancelled checks corresponding to McCarty’s payment plan for the $3,398 in principal plus interest.

Maxwell told The Citizen Tuesday that the cancelled checks show that McCarty completed the payment plan in June of this year, so he contends that McCarty did commit an act of false swearing when he qualified for office and also declared his candidacy in an affidavit, both of which occurred in May.

“It would be sort of ticky-tacky for me to keep that going in my opinion,” Maxwell said. “The man was paying on his back taxes. ... As far as I’m concerned I’m not going to deal with it anymore. It’s over.”

McCarty said the overdue sales tax was for a motor home he bought in South Carolina in 2004, and at the time he was unaware he would have to pay Georgia sales tax on the transaction, though he paid South Carolina’s $300 sales tax.

McCarty said he titled and registered the motor home in Georgia, but did not get a notice on the tax delinquency until 2009 when the Georgia Department of Revenue issued a lien on his home.

“If they would have sent me the bill earlier, I’d have paid it earlier,” McCarty said.

McCarty said he used the motor home for his business, as he and his wife would drive it to television stations where he would perform service work. They were more comfortable in the motor home than a hotel, he added.

“As far as I’m concerned, I paid sales tax on that vehicle twice,” McCarty said. “If you go to South Carolina and buy something and come back to Georgia and use it, Georgia thinks you owe state sales tax on it. To me I think that’s bizarre.”

Maxwell said he has been given a copy of the “satisfaction” notice from the state Department of Revenue that showed McCarty had paid the obligation in full as of June of this year. Maxwell noted that in the five months since the obligation was paid in full, DOR has yet to file that documentation at the Fayette County Courthouse.

“In fairness to Allen, it appears he completed his payment plan in June, Maxwell said, but ... we’re in November and the Department of Revenue still has not transmitted documentation that it has been paid off to the Fayette County Courthouse.”

Maxwell said DOR also had yet to respond to an open records request on the matter, noting that Georgia law required the suit to be filed promptly because it contested the results of an election.

“These things take time through the administrative process, but the legislature only gives you five days to file it,” Maxwell said.

McCarty, for his part, says he plans to fulfill the citizens’ wishes when he takes office.

“The citizens are the boss and I am the employee,” McCarty said. “I as the employee will manage what the citizens put me in charge of to the best advantage of the citizens who elected me.”

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