St. Petersburg, FL -- If elected to Congress, state Rep. Kathleen Peters will help determine how the federal government spends billions of tax dollars. But Peters' record for paying her own property taxes shows a history of late payments.
The website The Hill reports Peters and her husband were late in paying their property taxes for their former St. Pete Beach convenience store every year from 2000 through 2007, resulting in nearly $900 in late penalties.
The couple was also late in 2007 and 2012 on paying the property taxes for their South Pasadena home, resulting in more than $200 in penalties.
Peters, who is currently in Tallahassee this week issued a statement to 10 News on Tuesday saying:
"Like many Floridians, My family fell on tough times during a difficult economic period for my small business. But I never gave up or failed to meet our tax obligations. I ensured all tax bills were paid in full the same year in which they were due."
Peters went on to say, "For the last 28 years, I have dedicated my life to serving the people of Pinellas County through the good times and bad. From being a Cub Scout mom to starting a small business and serving as your State Representative, I never stopped fighting for this community.
"It is the successful emergence of struggles like these, that so many Floridians have also experienced that gives people confidence in knowing I have my finger on the pulse of the people and community. I understand the challenges of raising children, operating a business and struggling to make ends meets. The people of the 13th District know me.
"And they know that I am the only candidate that has the experience and the background to get things done locally and in Washington like Congressman Young did for so many years."
10 News also checked the property records of fellow Republican Congressional candidates David Jolly and Mark Bircher, but found both paid their taxes in Pinellas County on time.
Some potential voters told 10 News a history of making late payments could make them think twice about voting for a candidate.
"Absolutely, it would bother me that they can't pay attention to deadlines," said Bernice Hull.
"I'd say that's a bad thing. I mean, that's not setting a good example for the community," said Chad Whitten.
But not everyone said they see it as an issue if the bill is eventually paid.
Peters, Jolly and Bircher square off in the Republican Congressional District 13 primary next Tuesday.
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