Missouri AG hopeful pays taxes late; GOP claims false filing

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — The Democratic candidate for Missouri attorney general made overdue property tax payments this week after being asked about them, prompting a Republican official to accuse him of lying about being qualified to run.

Democrat Rich Finneran, a former federal prosecutor challenging Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt, owed St. Louis County $837 in personal property taxes due at the end of 2019 for two cars, the Springfield News-Leader reported.

Finneran told a reporter Tuesday that he'd pay the delinquent taxes as soon as possible, and county records showed he paid both the outstanding bill and one for 2020 on Thursday. Finneran campaign manager Steve Luther said the candidate had been unaware of owing the taxes.

Missouri law says candidates face being “disqualified" if they are not current on personal property taxes, state income taxes, municipal taxes, and property taxes on their homes when they file to run. Candidates must file a declaration that they are current on their taxes.

Jean Evans, the Missouri Republican Party's executive director, said Finneran's failure to pay taxes on time should disqualify him from being attorney general.

“Rich Finneran committed perjury when he falsified an affidavit about his delinquent taxes," Evans said in a statement.

Luther called the allegation “desperate” and “frivolous.”