After an ethics complaint filed against him by incumbent Board of Education candidate Sheila Rowe, challenger Dariel Daniel is spotlighting a once-outstanding tax bill of Rowe’s.
“I have hesitated to comment on Ms. Rowe’s finances,” Daniel said in an email. “However, the incessant filings and constant criticism of my personal affairs has forced me to investigate hers.”
Daniel pointed to a 2001 delinquent tax bill for $7,716.06 for property owned by Ram Manufacturing Inc., which Rowe owned with Maxwell Howard in Hogansville. The balance was paid off by Community Bank on Sept. 27, 2002, to avoid a tax sale in the following week, according to information provided from the Tax Commissioner’s office to Daniel.
Rowe said Monday that the property tax bill for the “cut and sew” business that she had helped operate since 1988 was paid off in a friendly foreclosure agreement with the bank, which was financing a church that occupied the land after the business moved to Franklin. She pointed out that the outstanding tax bill was paid before she qualified to run for school board in the following election.
“I knew that the affidavit I had to sign for qualification says you can’t have any delinquent taxes,” Rowe said. “So, I made sure the taxes were taken care of before I qualified.”
Daniel accused Rowe and her campaign advisers of being “stone throwers” for criticizing him for the taxes when Rowe also had a tax issue. Daniel’s overdue taxes, which Rowe included in her ethics complaint, stretched back to 2004, but Rowe said the difference between her tax problem and Daniel’s is that Daniel still had overdue taxes when he qualified to run in May.
Daniel said in July that the more than $14,000 for two tax bills, stemming from earnings he made in Texas and a business he owned in Troup County in 2002, had been straightened out and a letter from his accountant at J.K. Boatwright said the firm was working on the taxes. Rowe also had complained about Daniel failing to file his campaign disclosures and having outstanding fees with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission. Daniel has since paid the fees.
“Obviously, I am not a ‘career politician’ and haven’t filed all forms on time,” Daniel said. “I have, however, taken care of fees and fines as instructed, and in compliance with the law. I am a career educator and know what is best for our system.”
The two will face off in the Board of Education District 3 seat in the Aug. 21 runoff election. Early voting is open now at the Troup County Government Center.