WASHINGTON -- Congressional candidate Delvis Dutton, his wife and his company owe more than $23,000 in property taxes to Tattnall County from missed payments going back a decade.
A state representative from Glenville, Dutton is running in the five-person Republican primary in the 12th Congressional District to face U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta.
According to the Tattnall County tax commissioner’s office, Dutton owes $3,190.52 in back taxes on two pieces of property dating back to 2010. His wife, Mandy, owes $3,511.54, with unpaid balances since 2011. And Dutton’s well-drilling business, General Pump and Well Inc., owes the county $16,368.53 and has unpaid balances back to 2004.
“Delvis was unaware of an outstanding balance owed to Tattnall County and believes it is wrongly attributed and actually owed by General Pump and Well,” campaign spokesman Jessica Szilagyi wrote in an email. “Now that it is brought to his attention, he is working to both clarify the issue and see to it that the debt is resolved.”
Dutton’s business had financial problems including large debts to local banks
In a recent interview – before the AJC obtained the tax documents – Dutton said he was proud that he never declared bankruptcy.
“I’ve never walked away from any debt, any tax, anything along that line,” Dutton said.
But he did have several liens and judgments against him. Dutton attributed his business troubles to the economic downturn and some bad purchases.
“I’ve had some challenges and I’ve had some difficulties with some equipment that I purchased that were faulty equipment that’s caused problems,” Dutton said. “But I’ve always weathered the storms and I’ve always taken care of any obligation.”
Tattnall County tax commissioner Dale Dutton, a distant cousin of Delvis, said Delvis was “working on appealing” the business-related tax debt.
“He was told to bring some information from the accountants,” Dale Dutton said. “Last I heard he hadn’t presented that yet.”
Szilagyi confirmed that the dispute has to do with Delvis Dutton's belief that some of his business equipment was wrongly assessed.
Although Georgia code bans candidates for public office who are "defaulters" on their taxes, such cases are rare and a court would have to declare the candidate to be in default.
You can view the Tattnall County tax documents below: