WARRENSBURG — A western Missouri lawmaker has said a rental property company he owns with his brother has not paid local taxes since he took office and now owes more than $20,000.
Republican Rep. Denny Hoskins, a first-term lawmaker from Warrensburg, owes $16,091 in taxes and $4,227 in penalties. Hoskins told The Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal on Wednesday that Hos Properties LLC owes the taxes and that the debt started last December.
He said the company fell behind on its taxes because his tenants were struggling to pay their rent.
"It's not something my brother and I are proud of, but our rental property business is struggling just like other, many Missouri businesses, and when our tenants are struggling to pay their rent due to the economic recession, we struggle to pay our mortgage payment and property taxes," Hoskins told the Star-Journal.
The lawmaker's brother, Brian Hoskins, was contrite.
"I'm frustrated that I was in charge of managing the rentals and paying the taxes and the position I've put my brother in," Brian Hoskins told the Star-Journal.
The lawmaker, who is a certified public accountant, said there was no timeline for when all the taxes would be repaid but that the business was doing better.
"Currently we have a plan and are continuing to work on collecting delinquent rent from previous tenants on rental properties as soon as we can," Denny Hoskins told the Star-Journal. "Unfortunately, just because I'm an elected official, I'm not immune from the economic recession. They will be paid in full."
The Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee criticized Hoskins, accusing him of believing he is above the law.
"Denny Hoskins claims that as a CPA, he will protect tax dollars, all while failing to pay his own taxes," Chris Moreno, the Democratic committee's executive director, told the Star-Journal. "So not only is he not paying his taxes, but he is lying about protecting yours. That's pretty bad."