Vaughn Ward's Idaho property taxes past due

UPDATE, 1:45 p.m. Vaughn Ward's delinquent taxes were paid about 11 a.m Monday by credit card, about 25 minutes after the Idaho Statesman requested comment for this story.

Congressional candidate Vaughn Ward is delinquent on his Valley County property taxes for the fourth time since 2004, the Valley County Treasurer’s office said Tuesday.

Ward and his wife, Kirsten, own a half-acre undeveloped lot in Cascade, across a road from Lake Cascade. The lot was assessed at $96,700 for 2009. Ward recorded his deed in 2002 and has said he hopes to build a home there. A campaign spokeswoman said the Wards paid $60,000 for the lot.

The first half taxes of $414.22 for 2009 were due Dec. 20 and have not been paid. With penalties and 1 percent monthly interest, the Wards now owe $434.80.

The Wards, who rent a home in Eagle, are up to date on their taxes on a $501,600 home in Arlington, Va., according to the Arlington County Treasurer. They paid $4,389 in property tax for 2009.

Ward says the Cascade lot is worth between $250,001 and $500,000 on his Financial Disclosure Statement, filed with the U.S. House in May 2009.

But Valley County Chief Deputy Assessor Deedee Gossi said Tuesday that such a value is unjustified, in part because the lot is not lakefront. Asked how the county’s assessment and the value reported by Ward could be so different, Gossi said, “They’re dreamers. I don’t know what his reasoning is. I’ve never seen anything in Cascade that has that kind of value.”

A spokeswoman for Ward, Caroline Merritt, said that Ward has amended his disclosure statement to reflect a lower value.

"To error on the side of caution, the Wards did not want to underestimate the value of the property on their May 2009 Financial Disclosure Statement," Merritt said in an e-mail. " There has also been a significant decrease in property value in Valley County over the last year. The Wards have amended their Disclosure Statement to reflect the value of the property at less than $100,000.”

Gossi said the lot's value is likely to decline this year, as county-wide assessments are expected to fall about 30 percent. The Wards' lot was assessed at $47,200 in 2004, $78,210 in 2005, and $92,880 in 2006. In 2007, it reached $96,700, where it has remained for three years. Tax notices for 2010 will be mailed in early June.

The Wards also were late paying their Valley County taxes for tax years 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Ward is the front-runner in the May 25 Republican primary, which also includes state Rep. Raul Labrador of Eagle and Harley Brown of Idaho City. The winner faces freshman Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick in November.

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And another many does this guy get?


This just in, Obama offered him a cabinet position....


Good one. And I'm an Obama supporter.



You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.


This is getting to be a pattern of playing fast and loose with the truth & law. This is certainly not what I would expect from a Marine officer.

I agree completely. In

I agree completely. In addition, one does not run campaign ads for a civilian office wearing full Marine combat gear. It just seems like a cheap trick. I do like the cod piece on his body armor, though.

One Positive For Him...

Well, at least he's winning the 'name recognition' race.

Big whew.

Another lame attack on the GOP candidate? Yes, this is getting rather droll.

I'm sure he has shorted a dining facility by a penny at one time in his life too.

How about some BREAKING NEWS?


Unless it was a Dem you would be all over it like the GOP flies on Poop.

It matters

Should Ward not be held to the same standard as the rest of us? I don't know about you, but I pay my taxes on time, just as the law and lawmakers expect me to. You only get so many chances in politics to screw up before people start to question your ethics and integrity. Based on what I've read over the last two weeks about Mr. Ward, he commits a lot legal "errors" and then blames the messenger. We should demand that elected officials (and candidates for that matter) operate above-board and take responsibility for their actions -- just as we all do. Following the law should be a prerequisite for office too. I'm wondering if people who blindly hitched their wagon to the Ward campaign are beginning to have second thoughts. If Ward were a Democrat running for office, the GOPers would be all over him for these many "mistakes." I have a suspicion that we are going to continue to hear about this guy and his habit of stretching the truth and acting as if the rules (and laws) don't apply to him in the coming weeks. Idahoans deserve better than this guy.

3 years allowed

The LAW allows a person to be 3 years behind on property tax.
If paying property tax ON TIME was a requirement for public office or public employment there would be a lot of vacancies.


We (the people of Ada County) ELECTED Yzaguirre after it was WELL KNOWN he didn't pay sales tax - that's other peoples' money.

BREAKING NEWS! Your next Serta is in stock! DANCE!


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

I had some but I found buyers and I'm not broke.


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

Can't wait...

I look forward to seeing Ward try to razzle dazzle everyone with an explanation for this one.


to detail does not seem to be his strong suit.

Attention to de tail leads to de Nile to de wife.


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.


Who would've thought it was Ward? With his streak I figured if he's against taxes he would actually pay them...

Let's Get This Straight

Ward makes outlandish statements, doesn't follow the rules regarding filings, campaigns, taxes, and yet is considered a serious candidate? Just how bankrupt is the Idaho Republican Party?

And the Democrats

have who?

True Enogh !

Guess we don't need to wonder why our education system is in the toilet and
we will use tax payer dollars to sue the government at the same time we make
record cuts to every program designed to help people. Yeah where are the democrats ?

The democrats have Walt

The democrats have Walt Minnick. The current representative. Surely you've heard of him.



Oh, you were serious. *cough

Ya, ok.

Roger and Pete can't run.


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

And you can hardly run a

And you can hardly run a candidate in 1/2 the elections. The Dems are just flame throwing children. Whaaaaa

It's those new Pampers, change brands.


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

No wonder Democrats don't get elected in the state.

No body knows who they are, because the Statesman keeps the Republican in the lime light, good or bad.

Hey Dan, can you get a scoop of something GOOD the Democrats have for once? That might be different.

Spiderdemocrats! Where are you comin' from?

Nobody knows who you are!


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

Republican rival

Hmmm. Where is this information coming from? I really dont believe that Dan is deliberately finding this information. See, even the Republicans can be sneaky against their own. Usual politics. Outsider coming in and taking control over the Republican Party in Idaho.
What is the saying: It is not nice to mess with Mother Republican Party in Idaho.

Can you say....

this is beginning to smell a little like another witch hunt by the liberal-leaning Dan Popkey and Idaho Statesman? I am not a Vaughn Ward supporter, but I don't see Popkey digging the dirt on anyone else in this race to anywhere near this extent. It is making me question (silly me) his motives. I wonder if Popkey's background could stand up to this kind of minute scrutiny? He may just drive fair-minded voters in a direction he obviously is not intending if he keeps up this continual and rather blatant use of the media to furher his political bias. Vaughn Ward is certainly a novice politician...maybe a refreshing change from the experienced political hacks who know the ins and outs of rules and pitfalls of running for political office. And shame on Valley County Chief Deputy Assessor Deedee Gossi. How unprofessional of her to allow her personal perspective to enter into this. Did she presume to make similar comments about then-Governor Kempthorne's property holdings in Valley County?

Popkey isn't running for

Popkey isn't running for public office and he is not making statements or misstatements about issues and facts. BTW, The Valley County Assessor is only providing public information -- public information.

Just a lot of


Meaning there are no chances at having no non-statements?


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

Just saying...

Popkey had to dig awfully deep, or have a very concerned deep throat to come up with this "major" story on Ward's unpaid $434.80 property tax bill. I just think that what is good for one is good for all, and Labrador and Popkey's histories should be as open to scrutiny as those they are running against or writing about. I am not excusing anyone, but writers should follow the same rules as politicians or anyone else.

Who said it was a "major" story?

No one said this was a "major story". This however, is very newsworthy. Mr. Ward seems unable to pay his bills on time. If it was once, well I could dismiss that. Stuff happens. But 4 times? I find it interesting that all Popkey did was report on factual information (public information) and somehow, he is the one that is bad. Mr. Ward is just the poor misunderstood nice guy candidate. Get real. Lastly, Popkey is a reporter, he isn't running for office and has no obligation to report on his own taxes, just because he happens to write a story about someone else. That is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

Popkey isnt running for public office

and he isn't contending or misstating facts, unlike the subject of this article and others. Writers are employees of their businesses; they are not public officers and are not elected.

Popkey makes misstatements

Popkey makes misstatements all the time.

Consistant though.


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

I don't think you need to be

I don't think you need to be a practiced politician or "political hack" to know that you need to pay your property taxes. Really, it doesn't get more basic than that. I pay my property taxes on time, so why can't he? If he can't afford the property, he should sell it...unless he expects a free ride on the backs of those of us who DO actually pay on time?
To say that his political inexperience should excuse him from the same responsibilities that ALL property owners have is the same as saying that he shouldn't have to obey the speed limit in a school zone because he is politically inexperienced. That is just silly and lacks ANY sense of personal responsibility.

Novice? Not really

"Vaughn Ward is certainly a novice politician"

It's kind of hard to believe that statement given his political background working with good ol' Dirkie.

I've seen Vaughn's campaign ads. All he's doing is pandering to the divisiveness of this country. He's running on the "party of no" ticket from what he says. Not once have I heard him say anything about trying to work together to find common ground. It's all about how he'll fight the current powers that be.

Now, let's take a long hard look at this country. You'll notice that much of the time the US is prosperous the Left and the Right have worked together instead of against each other? The Bush and now the Obama years should be proof enough that the "we're in power so it's our way or shut the HE** up" method doesn't work so well.

So why would you even consider voting for a guy who's entire campaign is based on contrarian rhetoric and pandering as opposed to... oh... working for the greater good?

It would be if the ads alone didn't suck so badly!


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.

Cascade Lot Prices

Hey Dan, when did W V buy his lot and what did he pay for it? Did he get the same sweetheart deal as Gov. Kempthorne and his cronies got on lots in Cascade prior to the Tamarack fiasco? I seem to remember the lots were zoned ag and taxed as such.

more leaks

Oh boy, now you gave his opposition more dirt to send to Dan.


These folks are offering to lead this nation of ours. You can't expect them to follow the same rules as commoners... they have evolved beyond that...
Ward is just following the same path both party members have learned to follow these past thirty or forty years...
Both parties are looking for the bottom of the barrel... others need not apply. IMHO

Running backwards - no front runner!

How can Ward contend he is a front runner for the GOP? Just because he has been campaigning for over a year does not mean he's a front runner; especially with all the negative imagine he has now displayed; he's no front runner; he is running backwards!

You've got to respect...

Vaughn's determination to get the tea-party nomination. If this doesn't do it, I don't know what will.


This dude must have attended the Norm Semanko Bill Paying seminar.

Credit card?

Is that how Ward would balance the federal budget? Oh wait, that has been tried before.

Whose credit card?

Considering all the hijinx with Ward, whose credit card paid his property taxes.

How Can He be Expected to Know?

How can he be expected to know what is required in Idaho, he lives in Virginia?
Oh wait, he is running to represent us in Congress.
He isn't even waiting to gets elected before he forgets about the 1st Congressional district.


He must be perfect.


You can use any words you like here, as long as you don't use actual words.