UPDATE, 5 p.m., March 1:
The Richardson school district on Friday filed a legal claim for property tax arrears against state Rep. Victoria Neave for $23,948. The claim seeks back taxes from 2017 and 2018 from Neave and her ex- fiancé, former assistant Dallas County prosecutor Mark Scott Jr. With the Dallas County action filed earlier this week, it brings the total being sought from Neave and Scott to more than $50,000.
State Rep. Victoria Neave is being sued by Dallas County over $26,000 in property tax arrears, according to court records filed this week.
Neave, D-Dallas, an attorney, and Mark Scott Jr., her law partner and ex- fiancé, are two years behind in paying taxes. Records show the two co-own the home at 8580 Abrams Road. Scott is a former assistant Dallas County prosecutor.
The debt, according to court records, includes taxes owed to the City of Dallas, Parkland Hospital District (the county’s public medical facility), and Dallas County. The collection lawsuit notes that the amount does not include payments possibly owed to the Richardson school district, which is partly in Dallas County.
Neave declined an interview request, but in an email on Wednesday she said she had been notified of the lawsuit that day.
“Despite my best efforts to make payments, I take full responsibility for being in arrears,” she wrote. “I am expediting the process to put the house back on the market and am working on settling the past due balance as soon as possible.”
She did not respond to follow-up questions sent by email.
Scott, in a phone interview, denied having any ownership interest in the property.
“No, I sold that home in 2015; this is news to me,” Scott said. “I take care of business. I moved on, have another house, and am not aware of this [lawsuit].”
County property tax records show the last change of deed was recorded in 2011, when Neave and Scott purchased the home.
Scott did not respond to a text message seeking clarification.
Records show Neave and Scott formed a law practice in 2014, but the web site for the firm is now offline. A more recent site for the law practice, abogadadallas.com, is also not working.
Scott worked as a Dallas County prosecutor between 2010 and 2015, according to his LinkedIn page, including a stint as chief prosecutor in the family violence division. Scott was Neave’s campaign treasurer for the first year of her first campaign for the Texas House, in 2015. He was replaced as treasurer in July 2016.
Neave’s most recent financial disclosure shows she and Scott still owned the home as of February 2018. They are not named on Dallas County property records, using a provision of state code that protects information about law enforcement and certain prosecutorial agents.
Neave was arrested for driving while intoxicated in 2017 after crashing her BMW into a tree about six miles from the home. The license she gave officers showed an address for White Rock Apartment Villas. Her financial reports note that she does not consider the Abrams property to be her residence.
Neave is in her second term and is a member of two House committees, on corrections and on the judiciary and civil jurisprudence. She defeated Republican Kenneth Sheets in 2016 in one of the most expensive House races in Texas history. During that race, Sheets alleged that the Abrams Road house was out of the district.
Neave told the Dallas newspaper during the campaign that she and Scott owned the home but that she had moved out when they broke up. She said they were trying to sell the home.
Her Republican opponent in 2018 was Deanna Metzger, whose platform included reducing property taxes.
Neave campaigned on a platform that included more state funding of teachers and public schools, including increased funding for the health benefits, salary and pensions of public school teachers.
Records show Neave’s property was listed in 2015 for $1.4 million, but the price was later reduced and the house removed from the market in late 2017. Property records show the 7,600-square-foot home has five bedrooms, three full and two half bathrooms, a pool, two kitchens and two fireplaces.
According to her financial filings with the state, Neave’s lone source of income is her law firm plus her $7,200 annual legislative salary, and she has no investments other than the house. She reported a debt load in the range of $78,000 to $110,000.
Steve Miller can be reached at [email protected].