David Ralston pays late taxes

David Ralston pays late taxes

June 28th, 2011 by Associated Press in News

David Ralston, Georgia's House Speaker.

Photo by Andy Johns/Times Free Press.

ATLANTA - House Speaker David Ralston has paid about $1,300 in late taxes due on a property owned by his wife after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution questioned him about the unpaid balance.

The property near Dawsonville is owned by Jane Ralston, the wife of the Republican legislative leader.

Records show the Dawson County tax commissioner filed a tax lien against the property in April for unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. Taxes have been paid late on the property for the past four years, but this was the first time local officials filed a tax lien. Government officials can ultimately sell off properties with liens to collect unpaid taxes.

Ralston spokesman Marshall Guest called the late payment made Wednesday an oversight.

"He wasn't aware of it," Guest said. "But now he is aware of it and he is seeking to address it."

Ralston has previously faced tax problems. In 2007, he paid about $401,000 to the federal government for overdue taxes, interest and penalties spanning from 1996 to 2005. He also paid nearly $33,000 in unpaid withholding taxes and Social Security taxes for the employees of his law firm. He blamed those problems on a bookkeeper who pleaded guilty to embezzlement.

Earlier, Ralston had to pay the state government tens of thousands of dollars for late payment of personal income taxes.