Considered by some a rising star in Duval County Republican politics, the proprietor of the Mambo’s Cuban Café restaurant, Raul Arias, Jr. has decided to run for the City of Jacksonville city council.
Arias was appointed to the Housing and Community Development Commission by Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and interned for Senator Marco Rubio in 2016.
On paper, Arias appears to check off all the right boxes for voters.
The question is, what paper are voters reading?
According to the city council’s website, the legislative body generates most of its income from taxes, in particular, “Occupational licenses, business taxes, street vending registration fees and refueling permits
Here is the rub.
Arias, who wants to be elected to help govern the tax revenues the City of Jacksonville collects, has in the past failed to pay his own business taxes.
According to the Duval County Clerk of Courts, Arias’s businesses Mambos CCP, LLC and Mambos Cuban Express, LLC have a long history of being slapped with numerous tax warrants and liens.
To date, Arias’s businesses have had to pay around $25,000 in penalties, interest, and fees for not paying the sales taxes in time.
Here is an abbreviated list of tax issues Arias’s Mambos restaurant has faced over the past decade or so.
On April 14, 2022, the latest tax lien was placed on Mambos Cuban Express, LLC for $368.63.
The most recent failure to pay tax warrant was issued on May 5, 2021, for $6231.71 but was not paid in full until October 21, 2022
The tax warrants appear to have been satisfied or paid in full. The latest lien still looks to be open.
Arias is running in a contested race against three other candidates in District 11— Norman Brewer, Jr. Ramon Day, Annalyn Velasquez-Insco