Arkansas lawmaker accused of filing no taxes for 15 years arrested

An Arkansas lawmaker was arrested Thursday after authorities say he hasn’t filed his taxes since 2003 and owes nearly $260,000 in penalties, interest and back taxes.

Rep. Mickey Gates, a Republican, surrendered himself to authorities after he was charged with six counts of failure to pay or file a return between 2012 through 2017, Arkansas State Police said. Despite not filing since 2003, Gates cannot be charged for violations outside the six-year statute of limitations.

Gates' office did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

Gates, 58, told state police in an interview earlier this month he believed he had settled with the state for the years 2003 through 2007 for $30,000 and was making $1,500 monthly payments on the settlement, according to the arrest affidavit. Gates also said he was under the impression that the state Department of Finance and Administration completed returns on his behalf for 2007 through 2015 and had not filed returns since 2015.

An attorney for the lawmaker told The Associated Press that Gates has cooperated with authorities and “will continue to cooperate.” He did not say, however, if Gates would resign over the charges.

The Hot Springs, Ark., lawmaker is seeking reelection this November over the Democratic challenger, Kevin Rogers.

Gates surrendered himself on Thursday and was released from the Garland County jail on $1,500 bond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.