Unpaid taxes may stall Rosales’ bid

By Vasanth Sridharan

Champaign City Councilman Giraldo Rosales, at-large, may face a roadblock in his bid for re-election next year.

He has not paid his property taxes this year.

The councilman also has not lived in his Champaign residence, 618 W. Hill St., since early 2005, after water pipes froze and burst while the Rosales family was out of town. Since that time, he and his family have been living in a house in Urbana while they remodel their Champaign home.

Rosales and his wife Melodye filed a property tax abatement on time in early September. They filed in an attempt to reduce the amount the couple has to pay because the house is uninhabitable right now, said Ruth Wyman, attorney for the couple. Hyman said she hopes that the abatement is heard by Oct. 26, the day when the property tax bill gets sold – most likely to bill collectors. She said that the Rosales family will pay their taxes.

“We’re waiting to find out what his actual property tax assessment is going to be,” Wyman said. “As soon as they find out, the Rosaleses are going to pay their taxes.”

According to the Champaign County Web site, Rosales owes slightly more than $4,600 in property taxes this year.

Champaign County Clerk Mark Shelden said that these situations are too complicated for him to determine right now whether this issue is going to affect Rosales’ ballot eligibility for next year’s election. He did say that two years ago in Urbana, a candidate had some unpaid taxes, but she just paid her bill and was certified to be on the ballot.

“Nobody challenged her and that’s why she was able to appear on the ballot,” he said.

Shelden said that this is a serious issue and needs to be treated as such.

“I think he’s in legal jeopardy right now,” he said. “I think (the situation) needs to be taken seriously by everyone involved, it’s in the law and the law should be followed.”

To run for reelection, Rosales has to file in December.