by Max Brantley
The Democrat-Gazette today ran through a litany of tax problems for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Keet — claiming a homestead tax credit to which he wasn't entitled; non-payment of property taxes on a plane kept in Arkansas; late payment of property and restaurant taxes. He's settled up. (The case of the plane, craftily outside of the reach of tax collectors everywhere, seemed the most problematic.)
In the course of the article, Keet was again quoted as saying he moved back to Arkansas in July or August of 2008 after five years in business in Florida (where there is no income tax, including in the period after his sale of a restaurant business.)
Once more on the residency issue:
Florida law says a voter registered in Florida may vote absentee in a presidential election after moving to another state if he moves "after the registration books in that [new] state have closed." Keet voted absentee in Florida in November 2008. The registration books in Arkansas had not closed in August 2008. If Keet moved to Arkansas then, he was not permitted to vote in Florida in November 2008. Casting a fraudulent ballot can be construed as a felony in Florida.
So I'm still curious exactly when Jim Keet moved to Arkansas. He had told me he moved in early 2009, which wouldn't create a problem on his Florida vote.
One true outrage in the D-G story: Assessor Janet Ward in Pulaski County and a county official in White County gave "courtesy" notices to Keet and Gov. Mike Beebe that people were inspecting their tax records. Doing favors for muckety mucks isn't part of their job description. It's an offense to everyone else who doesn't get similar treatment.