property tax

Here’s the backstory on the Andy Ogles attack ad

A distinctive attack ad claims Republican congressional candidate Andy Ogles failed to pay his property taxes nine times. The spot funded by the Tenenssee Conservatives PAC, which was founded by supporters of former candidate Morgan Ortagus, cites Williamson County property tax records as the source for the hit.

Here’s the transcript:

Narrator 1: “Andy Ogles failed to to pay his property taxes nine times.”

Narrator 2: “Nine times?”

Narrator 1: “That’s right. Any Ogles failed to pay his property taxes nine times.”

Narrator 2: “Nine times.”

Narrator 1: “But as county mayor, Ogles supported increasing the sales tax and didn’t oppose a property tax hike or a marriage tax. Andy Ogles failed to pay his property taxes nine times.”

Narrator 2: “Nine times.”

Narrator 1: “Andy Ogles didn’t pay his taxes but supported raising yours. Tennessee Conservatives PA is responsible for the content this message.”

We delved into the records to see whether we could replicate the claims of the ad. We found that Ogles appeared as a co-owner of a Franklin home between 2005 and 2015, though for reasons unknown he was not listed on the rolls in the 2013 tax year. While it’s true that property tax payments were late on nine occasions, that includes years where the Ogles family was as little as one or two days behind the deadline. But in other years it took as many as 194 and 322 days to pay the tax bill.

Here’s what the records show:

Tax YearAmountDue DatePayment DateDays lateInterest
2005$1,4452/28/20063/7/200670
2006$1,4362/28/20073/2/200720
2007$1,4362/28/20082/29/200810
2008$1,5652/28/20099/10/2009194$130
2009$1,4792/28/20104/12/201043$43
2010$1,4792/28/20114/19/201150$43
2011$1,9672/28/20121/15/2013322$279
2012$1,6882/28/20131/11/201300
2013*$2,0362/28/20144/21/201452$59
2014$2,1202/28/20156/18/2015110$120
* In 2013, Andy Ogles is replaced by Monica Ogles as a co-owner, but he is back on the rolls for 2014.

So did Andy Ogles fail to pay his property taxes nine times, as the ad claims? Not exactly. He did pay, albeit in a tardy fashion. And in some years he was later than others.

The attack ads cometh in 5th District race

It was only a matter of time until the attack ads started to emerge in the race for the Republican nomination in the open 5th Congressional District race. A group called Tennessee Conservatives is taking aim at Maury County Mayor, while the USA Freedom Fund is hitting former House Speaker Beth Harwell for having once voted for a program to allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses. Another spot by the School Freedom Fund, which is linked to the Club for Growth, calls Harwell and retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead “too liberal for Tennessee.”

Here’s the Ogles hit piece:

And the attack on Harwell.

Harwell appears to have updated one of her spots to try to defuse the attack, by declaring she “stopped illegals from getting driver’s licenses.” It’s true that she voted in 2004 to repeal a program allowing driver certificates to people who were in the country illegally, but that doesn’t tell the whole story, as she was among 19 Republicans who voted in favor of creating it three years earlier.