District judge candidates address active tax liens filed against them

A roll of voting stickers is seen on Election Day, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at the Elm Grove Community Center at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Fort Smith. Voters in Sebastian County cast their ballots for several primary, county, city and school board races, as well as special tax elections. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)
A roll of voting stickers is seen on Election Day, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at the Elm Grove Community Center at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Fort Smith. Voters in Sebastian County cast their ballots for several primary, county, city and school board races, as well as special tax elections. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)


Two candidates for district court judge in the River Valley have active state tax liens filed against them, according to state records provided by the state Department of Finance and Administration on Jan. 19 to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

A lien is a legal claim or hold on a piece of property for security for payment of a debt. It has the same force as a judgment issued by the circuit court, where liens are filed.

William Hyman of Fort Smith, is vying with District Judge Amy Grimes of Fort Smith in District 6, Division 3. Hyman has an income tax lien filed against him for $1,286.71 for the period ending Dec. 31, 2020. The lien was filed Feb. 14, 2022, with the Sebastian County clerk. Natalie Hyman is also listed on the tax lien.

Hyman said Wednesday in a text message to the newspaper: "I was lazy on my taxes and my accountant counted a $20,000 loan as income and another $12,500 vehicle purchase for my business as income.

"I got that corrected in an amended return a few weeks ago, and I'm waiting to hear back on that," he wrote.

Arron Edwards of Van Buren is vying with Rinda Baker of Van Buren for district judge in District 5.

Edwards had an income tax lien filed against her for $2,808.26 for the period ending Dec. 31, 2022. The lien was filed Oct. 4, 2023, with the Crawford County circuit court. Her husband, Bobby Edwards, also is listed on the tax lien.

Arron Edwards said Tuesday in an email to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that "I checked with the DFA [Department of Finance and Administration] and my actual balance was only $29.18. That has been paid.

"I guess I made I mistake in the amount I wrote the check for to pay taxes that year," she wrote in an email.

Paul Gehring, an assistant revenue commissioner at the finance department, said Tuesday in a written statement "the original balance of the attached [lien] on the date it was filed (Oct. 4, 2023) was $2,808.26."

"When DFA responded to [the Democrat-Gazette's] FOIA request on January 19, 2024, the payoff amount for the lien was $29.14," Gehring wrote. "When a taxpayer makes full payment of the balance of a lien, it takes a few days for the funds to post to the taxpayer's account."

Scott Hardin, department spokesman said Friday the lien for Arron Edwards is paid in full and no longer active. A lien released has not been filed yet for the lien, but will be within the next 30 days, he said.