Campaign 2010

Apr 16, 2012

Tax Day Report: At Least 23 House Republicans With Tax Problems

As Americans file their taxes in advance of Tax Day tomorrow, there are at least 23 House Republican Members, plus some Republican candidates, who have current or past tax problems according to public records and news reports. Not only are these Republicans relentlessly protecting tax breaks for the ultra wealthy, but they fail to pay some of their own. If House Republicans want to be taken seriously about their commitment to fiscal responsibility and balancing the budget, they should start by practicing what they preach.

 

AL-03: Mike Rogers. Under a special program, District of Columbia taxpayers who own a home in the city and use it as their principal residence receive a $67,500 reduction on the assessed value of their home. In 2009, this deduction would have saved the eligible taxpayer at least $573.75. The program additionally caps the increase of future home assessments, potentially reaping larger savings to the taxpayer over time. In 2009, Roll Call reported that Rogers—who represents Alabama in Congress—improperly received this tax benefit. That year, Rogers’ home was assessed at $747,000, with a taxable value of $680,000. Although the buyer of a property is required to declare if they are eligible for the exemption, and regularly receive notices about the savings they earn under the deduction, a spokesperson for the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue claimed that Rogers was receiving the benefit in error and had not applied for it. Roll Call’s examination of sales documents, however, reveals that the Congressman filed contradictory information about his intention to receive the deduction. At the time of the report, D.C.’s Real Property Tax Administration claimed the lawmaker would receive a bill for the back taxes. [Roll Call, 3/25/09]

 

AR-01: Rick Crawford. Rick Crawford was delinquent on property taxes on his business and personal properties three times between 2008 and 2011. He paid a total of $87.61 in penalties for the delinquent taxes. In 2011, The Jonesboro Sun reported Crawford’s property taxes for the year as delinquent, but Crawford claimed it was due to an online error. [Craighead County Tax Collector; Arkansas Times, 11/17/11]

 

AZ-01: Paul Gosar. From tax year 1999 to 2009, Gosar paid his property taxes late twelve times and incurred a total of $2,928.06 in interest on his delinquent tax payments. Gosar also paid the property taxes on his dental practice late nine times and incurred $2,798.86 in interest on those late payments.  [Coconino County Treasurer, Tax Payments, Parcel 301-23-047, 12/21/99-4/29/10; Parcel 109-07-002A, 12/21/99-5/18/10]

 

CA-24: Abel Maldonado. In 2012, the IRS sent Maldonado a tax bill for $470,000. Maldonado disputed the tax bill. He also had a series of IRS  liens placed on his family farm for as much as $111,146. In 2006, Maldonado tried put that he was an “auditor” in his family business on the ballot, but a judge deleted “auditor” from the ballot label. [The Tribune, 4/5/12; Sacramento Bee, 4/03/06]

 

CA-36: Mary Bono Mack. Mary Bono Mack is married to Congressman Connie Mack from Florida, and benefits from a homestead exemption from both their Florida and California homes. Bono Mack has spent time this year campaigning for her husband in Florida to help get him elected as a Senator from Florida. Mary Bono Mack, had been criticized for not spending enough time in the California. [Desert Sun, 2/23/12; Associated Press, 1/17/12]

 

CA-42: Gary Miller. “Rep. Miller is under investigation by the FBI for failing to pay capital gains taxes after he claimed he was forced to sell his land to two cities under eminent domain, allegations both cities have denied. The House Ethics Committee is reviewing Rep. Miller’s real estate transactions to determine whether his investments were tied to official acts.” [CREW, accessed 4/16/12]

 

CO-06: Mike Coffman. In 1990, Coffman had a tax lien from the State of Colorado filed against him for $241.33 after he was found delinquent on individual income taxes. Coffman then satisfied the lien in 1992. Then, in 2000, under Coffman’s company tenure as President at the Colorado Property Management Group, he failed to pay the company’s quarterly withholding taxes on time. According to the Denver Westword, the taxes were between ten and twelve days late, and cost Coffman approximately $5,000 to cover the bill. [Notice of Lien for State Taxes, Arapahoe County Clerk, 5/31/90; Release of Lien, Arapahoe County Clerk, 2/14/92; Denver Westword, 8/24/00]

 

FL-02: Steve Southerland. Steve Southerland was delinquent on his business’s property taxes in '05, '06, '07, '08 and '09. He was forced to pay roughly $2560.00 in late penalties. [McClatchy, 10/11/10, available at: Walton Sun, 10/10/10]

 

FL-13: Vern Buchanan. Between 1994 and 2002, Buchanan was  involved in an eight year tax fight with the IRS that resulted in Buchanan paying the IRS $2.5 million. In 1992, the IRS said that Buchanan owed more than the $1.2 he paid in taxes. Buchanan disputed the claim and after eight years, Buchanan paid the original $1.2 million and an additional $1.3 million in penalties and interest. In 2008, the IRS filed $556,000 in tax liens against two of Buchanan’s companies. The liens filed included $548,744.04 in quarterly employment taxes and $4,706.20 in unemployment compensation taxes for 2005 against VB Investments of Ocala, and $3,515.97 in unemployment compensation taxes for 2005 against VB Investments. The IRS acknowledged that the liens were due to improperly filed documents and not the result of nonpayment.  In 2012, The New York Times reported that Buchanan was under investigation by the IRS for possibly claiming improper tax deductions. [Sarasota Tribune Herald, 7/01/08; Sarasota Tribune Herald, 6/17/08; New York Times, 2/24/12]

 

FL-18: Allen West. The IRS filed an $11,000 lien against (Allen) West for back taxes. Three liens were placed on his home for unpaid bills. [St. Petersburg Times, 8/24/10]

 

FL-26: David Rivera. Rivera is under investigation by the IRS regarding an undisclosed $1 million consulting deal between Flagler Dog Track (now Magic City Casino) and Millennium Marketing, a company co-owned by Rivera’s mother. The IRS is also investigating whether Rivera has engaged in income tax evasion.   [CREW, accessed 4/13/12]

 

GA-11: Phil Gingrey. Under a special program, District of Columbia taxpayers who own a home in the city and use it as their principal residence receive a $67,500 reduction on the assessed value of their home. In 2009, this deduction would have saved the eligible taxpayer at least $573.75. The program additionally caps the increase of future home assessments, potentially reaping larger savings to the taxpayer over time. In 2009, Roll Call reported that Gingrey—who represents Georgia in Congress—may have improperly received this tax benefit. That year, Gingrey’s house was valued at about $705,000, with a taxable value of $637,000. In the District, the buyer of a property is required to declare if they are eligible for the exemption. According to Roll Call, “District records show Gingrey’s wife, Billie Gingrey, as the sole purchaser of a three-bedroom row house in 2004.” Gingrey’s spokesman, however, claimed the Congressman may have inadvertently applied for the deduction.  The Roll Call article noted that while it is possible for a spouse of a Member of Congress to legally receive this tax benefit, the owner regularly receive notices about the savings they earn under the deduction. [Roll Call, 3/25/09] 

 

IA-04: Steve King. Under a special program, District of Columbia taxpayers who own a home in the city and use it as their principal residence receive a $67,500 reduction on the assessed value of their home. In 2009, this deduction would have saved the eligible taxpayer at least $573.75. The program additionally caps the increase of future home assessments, potentially reaping larger savings to the taxpayer over time. In 2009, Roll Call reported that King—who represents Iowa in Congress—improperly received this tax benefit. That year, King’s home was valued at $388,000, with a taxable value of $308,000. Although buyers of a property are required to declare if they are eligible for the exemption, and regularly receive notices about the savings they earn under the deduction, King claimed that “the D.C. tax department made a mistake,” a situation that the D.C. Real Property Tax Administration Director Richie McKeithen said could have been a possibility. [Roll Call, 3/25/09] 

 

IL-08: Joe Walsh. According to the Chicago Daily Herald, “Starting in 1992, Walsh was handed several liens for failing to pay state and federal income taxes, together totaling nearly $25,000, according to records from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. The first lien, in June 1992, was for failing to pay $2,239 in federal income taxes. In June 1994, Walsh was handed a lien for failing to pay $21,566 in federal income taxes, some going as far back as 1985. Six months later, the state placed another lien for Walsh's failure to pay $778 in state income taxes. He eventually paid them off and the last lien cleared in 2001. […] Walsh called the $2,239 and $778 tax liens ‘miscalculations’ on taxes, as far as he and his ex-wife, Laura, can tell. The $21,556 lien, the one that, as Walsh says, ‘jumps out at people,’ comes from failing to pay taxes on an education trust fund set up by his grandfather to pay for his education at Grinnell College and later the University of Iowa in the 1980s. The fifth of nine children, Walsh said his grandfather had set up similar funds for his eight siblings, but said he was the first to ‘get dinged by the IRS […] I had no idea that (money) was taxable,’ he said.” [Chicago Daily Herald, 10/19/10]

 

IN-09: Todd Young. While Todd Young rails against Washington’s inability to control government spending and get its fiscal house in order, he has repeatedly paid his property taxes late on his property in Bloomington, Indiana. Since 2007, Young has accumulated $2,149.91 in delinquent property taxes and penalties. [Monroe County Treasurer Documents for 2007-2010]

 

KS-04: Mike Pompeo. Mike Pompeo has tried hard to convince his constituents that Congress needs his business expertise. Yet as of October 26, 2010, one of Mike Pompeo’s companies owed $115,189 in back taxes. Moreover, while he has opposed government involvement in business, his companies have collected at least $406,100 of taxpayers’ funded subsidies. [Pompeo for Congress Website, accessed on 4/13/10; The Hutchinson News, 10/26/10; Wichita Eagle, 10/25/10]

 

NH-01: Frank Guinta. In 2008, the Concord Monitor reported that Guinta paid “more than $3,000 in overdue property taxes on investment property” he owned in Manchester, after saying he did not realize the money was owed. In July 2009, the Manchester city tax collector confirmed that Guinta was nearly three months late on paying his sewer bill. [Concord Monitor, 5/22/08; New Hampshire Union Leader, 7/21/09]

 

NJ-03: Jon Runyan. In 2010, Runyan admitted to failing to pay franchise and property taxes on time. Runyan had been delinquent on roughly $60,000 in property taxes that were owed in quarterly payments on his Mount Laurel home in 2009. Runyan also had a 2007 tax lien placed on a franchise football team in San Diego he had owned. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/12/10]

 

NY-24: Ann Marie Buerkle. Ann Marie Buerkle repeatedly paid school taxes late for her 3779 Underwood Way property in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. She also repeatedly paid school taxes later for her Skaneateles property in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. [Onondaga County Office of Real Property Services, OnGov.net, accessed 3/23/11]

 

OH-16: Jim Renacci. According to the Associated Press, “The leading GOP challenger to Democratic U.S. Rep. John Boccieri was assessed nearly $1.4 million in unpaid state taxes, interest and fees in 2006 — a finding he fought vigorously but eventually paid. Republican Jim Renacci and his wife Tina filed adjusted gross income in 2000 of negative $247,000 but a state audit calculated the sum at $13.7 million, according to an Associated Press review of public documents. The couple was assessed $954,650 in unpaid taxes, $146,938 in interest, and a $293,876 penalty as a result of the discrepancy.” [AP, 4/14/10]

 

TX-17: Bill Flores. On May 28, 1998, the State of Indiana placed a $70 tax lien against Western Atlas, Inc. At the time, Bill Flores was the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Western Atlas, Inc. The lien was satisfied on April 9, 1999. [Indiana Tax Lien, Marion County Circuit Court, Filing # 03048419, 5/28/98; Business Wire, 8/20/97; Oil & Gas Journal, 4/19/99]

 

TX-23: Quico Canseco. San Antonio Express News exposed that “Republican congressional candidate Francisco “Quico” Canseco has been slapped with more than $715,000 in federal, state and mechanics liens over unpaid payroll taxes and contracting fees since the early 1980s.” [San Antonio Express News, 7/8/10]

 

WI-06: Tom Petri. Under a special program, District of Columbia taxpayers who own a home in the city and use it as their principal residence receive a $67,500 reduction on the assessed value of their home. In 2009, this deduction would have saved the eligible taxpayer at least $573.75. The program additionally caps the increase of future home assessments, potentially reaping larger savings to the taxpayer over time. In 2009, Roll Call reported that Petri—who represents Wisconsin in Congress—and his wife improperly received this tax benefit. That year, Petri’s home was assessed at $1.4 million, less than half of its total value. While a spokesperson for Petri claimed that the Congressman legally received the tax benefit through his spouse, an investigation conducted by Roll Call showed that Petri’s wife is not registered to vote within the city, a requirement for program participation. [Roll Call, 3/25/09] 

 

WV-01: David McKinley. Under David McKinley’s leadership, the West Virginia Republican Party failed to pay its taxes. The IRS had to chase McKinley’s party down for evading taxes and even seized the party’s bank accounts. The Party ran up tens of thousands of dollars of debt to rent office space from McKinley’s architecture and engineering firm. The IRS had to chase McKinley's party down for evading taxes, seized the party’s bank account and demanded it pay back taxes and fines. [Charleston Gazette, 2/10/91; 11/29/94; 11/04/94; 6/16/96]

 

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