“Most Arkansans pay their state taxes on time but others, including some officials, have contributed to an accounts receivable backlog that experts say totals nearly $300 million. Transparency tools allow citizens to learn if officials are delinquent and their taxpayer-funded salaries.” “Let the sun shine: Transparency reveals tax backlog” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette column, March 31, 2018


(July 2018) State Rep. Michael “Mickey” Gates, R-Hot Springs, charged recently with failing to pay state income taxes or file returns was paid $78,800 in legislative salary (2016-17), and is receiving $40,188 this year, according to OpenTheBooks.com, a non-profit that advances government transparency.  

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported an Arkansas State Police affidavit says Gates “owes the state almost $260,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest.”1


Gates is charged with six counts of failure to pay or file a tax return, a felony. Each count represents one year in which the state legislator is accused of failing to file returns: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.<2


A 2015 media report noted Gates was among “five state lawmakers or companies connected to them” to have tax liens filed against them by the state Department of Finance and Administration.3


–Greg Kaza

1  “Arkansas legislator faces 6 counts of nonpayment of taxes.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, June 29, 2018

2  “Pressure continues for Arkansas lawmaker to resign; judge assigned in case.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, July 19, 2018

3  “State lists tax liens tied to 5 in office.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, December 13, 2015