Idaho’s state Board of Tax Appeals has rejected Rep. Phil Hart’s bid to appeal an order to pay $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest, saying his appeal wasn’t timely. Hart argued that he should have months extra to file his appeal because of the state Constitution’s provision granting freedom from arrest or civil process to state legislators during legislative sessions; the appeal period ran out 10 days before the start of this year’s legislative session. You can read the decision here, and read my full story here at spokesman.com.
The board’s decision is especially significant because Hart faces a pending ethics charge of abuse of legislative privilege for repeatedly citing the constitutional privilege to win delays in his state and federal income tax fights. A special House Ethics Committee, which earlier voted 4-3 along party lines to clear Hart of a conflict-of-interest charge, delayed considering the abuse of privilege charge to await the pending tax appeal decision.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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