Clay Chastain hasn’t paid his earnings taxes due April 15, has no intention of doing so unless he’s put back on the ballot
For someone who is stridently critical of Kansas City Mayor Sly James and his inability to pay personal property taxes on time, Clay Chastain has a tax problem himself.
During a phone conversation with The Pitch on Thursday, Chastain acknowledged that he hasn’t paid his 2014 earnings taxes in Kansas City, which were due April 15.
Chastain claims that he’s a resident of Kansas City, which forced his hand for paying 1 percent of his earnings that he made while living in Bedford, Virginia.
But Chastain says he paid his earnings taxes only for the two tax years prior to getting on the ballot, which satisfies the requirements in the Kansas City charter to qualify as a candidate but belies his insistence that he has remained a Kansas City resident for 20-some years, despite long spells of living in Tennessee and Virginia.
What’s more, Chastain says he won’t pay his earnings taxes from last year unless somehow James is disqualified from the ballot and Chastain is allowed back on. Chastain says he would no longer consider himself a resident if he is not on the ballot.
In other words, residency to Chastain can be flipped on and off like a switch. He’s a resident when he wants to run for office in Kansas City and dictate civic policies from Virginia. But he’s not a resident when he doesn’t feel like paying taxes.
And he wonders why he got so few votes April 7.
And while Chastain has his own tax delinquency, it’s not stopping him from pressing on with his attempt to get James off the ballot for paying his 2014 (and 2013 and 2012) personal property taxes beyond the end-of-year deadline. A hearing is scheduled in the Jackson County Circuit Court for Friday afternoon.
Vincent Lee, the distant second-place finisher in the April primary election, is joining Chastain’s lawsuit. Chastain also has a St. Louis attorney, Elbert Walton, working on his case. Walton, who has a less-than-glowing history of practicing law in the eastern half of Missouri, largely dispensed with Chastain’s original arguments made in the April 15 lawsuit against James. While Chastain built his case on a loose interpretation of the Kansas City charter, Walton now argues that a set of state laws disqualifies James from the ballot.
A key statute that Walton cites to make his argument was repealed last year.