Steve Simpson said financial woes led him to fail to pay his property taxes last year, leading to a lien on his $378,000 Gulfport home.
After news of his unpaid taxes circulated, Simpson – the Republican candidate for attorney general – paid off the nearly $5,760 he owed in city, county and school taxes, eliminating the lien earlier this year.
On Saturday, he explained that for years his property taxes had been included in his mortgage payments, but that changed after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. His wife’s court reporting business suffered, he said. “There was not a lot of legal work going on post-Katrina.”
He and other Gulf Coast families “ended up refinancing to help us live after Katrina,” he said. “When the mortgage company refinanced, they didn’t include the property taxes in the payment. All of a sudden I get a bill for thousands of dollars, and I could not pay them at the time.”