Republican Rep. Tom Reed isn’t great at paying his taxes. Over the weekend, a story from The Buffalo News reported that the New York lawmaker has been late 38 times paying his property taxes since 2005. Having paid $3,486.51 in late fees, Reed is now on the right side of the law, but as a member of the committee that actually writes tax law it’s more than embarrassing.
At least he has plenty of company. For it turns out that several members of Congress aren’t so into writing that check to the government. Below are just a few examples. (And no, these are not acts of Thoreauvian civil disobedience or libertarian antitax protests.)
1) Republican Rep. Jon Runyan of New Jersey earned millions of dollars (and a reputation as a “dirty player”) as a lineman in the NFL. That didn’t stop him from being late on 33 property-tax payments. But that’s not even his most notable tax issue (or at least not his strangest). For years, Runyan has had a handful of miniature donkeys grazing on his property, helping him avoid paying the full tax rate on 20 out of his 23 acres of land.
2) Earlier this year WMUR in New Hampshire reported that Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster owed nearly $11,000 in late property-tax bills. The television station also noted that Kuster has been delinquent on more than $40,000 in property taxes over the past three years. And it’s not because she’s poor. The Center of Responsive Politics estimated her net worth to be around $1.8 million.
3) Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, has been dogged by his fair share of tax issues over the years. The former car salesman was assessed nearly $1.4 million in unpaid state taxes, interest, and fees in 2006, according to the Associated Press. Last year, Renacci’s opponent former Rep. Betty Sutton made a big deal of the Republican’s attempt to “avoid paying taxes on nearly $14 million” (italics ours), a statement that was rated “true” by Politifact.
4) Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida may be the champion of IRS problems in the House of Representatives. Between 1994 and 2002 the Republican found himself in the midst of a tax fight that ended up costing him about $2.5 million ($1.2 million for what he originally owed, plus another $1.3 in late fees and interest). Buchanan has also found himself swimming in an alphabet soup of investigating offices over the years (DOJ, FBI, IRS, FEC).
5) Fellow Floridian Rep. Steve Southerland too has been late on his fair share. The Republican’s company Machrise paid property taxes on a number of properties late at least 27 times from 1995 to 2012.
Correction: WMUR is a televsion station, not a radio station.
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