HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A North Carolina congressman has paid an over $3,000 tax bill after Queen City News started asking about the delinquent status of his payments.

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who represents North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, had a tax bill of $3,037.58 as of early Friday with the Henderson County Tax Assessor’s Office. The bill, listed as being due September 1, 2021, was listed as “delinquent” with interest accruing starting on January 6, 2022.

Screenshots of the bill, which was publicly accessible online, had made their way across various social media sites, including Reddit and Twitter, and added to the scrutiny the controversial congressman has received since he was elected to the office.

“He’s made himself an object that people will look for something on,” said political science professor Susan Roberts with Davidson College. “One more little thing just chips away. Even if it might not hurt Madison Cawthorn as an individual, it hurts the institution.”

Roberts spoke with Queen City News about the past due payment on the bill. She said, from an objective standpoint, it goes to a larger point of representatives needing to set an example to their constituents. 

Other political scientists agreed, though they noted it may be used more for political purposes than to something that the public would be concerned with.

“In the context of an election, if it’s someone they like and someone they agree with, they’re more willing to forgive personal things in order to get someone who they value for other reasons,” said UNC Charlotte political science professor Eric Heberlig.

Cawthorn has expressed an interest in filing for candidacy in the newly re-drawn 13th Congressional District.  If that map ultimately comes to fruition, it would cover a significant portion of the Charlotte area, including portions of Mecklenburg County.

Queen City News reached out to the Mecklenburg County GOP about the issue but had no comment.

“Our public servants, our police and firefighters, are funded through local property taxes,” said Mecklenburg County Democratic Party Chair Jane Whitley. “We all have an obligation as citizens on paying our taxes on time.”

Queen City News reached out to Cawthorn’s communications team Friday morning about the delinquent bill. Just before Friday afternoon, they responded by saying the bill had been paid.

According to the Henderson County Tax Collector’s Office, the bill was paid at 3:47 p.m. Friday.