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Posts tagged: tax appeal

Idaho Court Rejects Hart Tax Appeal

A unanimous Idaho Supreme Court has rejected state Rep. Phil Hart's appeal of an order to pay more than $53,000 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest on grounds of legislative privilege; you can read my full story here at In a seven-page opinion authored by Justice Jim Jones, the unanimous court held that the Idaho Constitution's legislative privilege clause from arrest or “civil process” during legislative sessions didn't protect Hart, or permit him to file his state tax appeal months later than anyone else would have been allowed to. “Hart's untenable argument flows from his misunderstanding of the word 'process,'” Jones wrote/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.


Judge Clears Way For Hart Nov. 5 Trial

A U.S. District Court Judge has cleared the way for federal prosecutors to proceed with their case against Athol Republican Rep. Phil Hart for failing to pay income taxes. Justice Edward Lodge handed down three orders today, all in favor the U.S. Government and against Hart. The north Idaho lawmaker had argued that feds should have been barred for serving him with a notice of deficiency while the Idaho Legislature was in session. Additionally, Hart had sought to have tax assessments reduced and foreclosure stalled on a parcel of his property in Kootenai County. Lodge ordered that there be no more delays in the matter and presented Hart with a firm schedule/George Prentice, Boise Weekly. More here.

Question: Hart's trial date is the day before November's general election. How does that play in his chances at re-election?

Supreme Court Hears Hart’s Appeal

Phil Hart’s anti-tax battle hit the big time Monday, at least in Idaho. The visiting Idaho Supreme Court considered oral arguments in Hart’s continuing fight against income taxes and the justices appeared to have little patience for the Athol lawmaker’s claims that the state constitution shields him from tax collectors. At issue is $53,000 in unpaid state taxes, penalties and interest that the Idaho State Tax Commission ruled Hart owes. In a separate action, Hart faces a federal trial next year where the government is seeking to foreclose on his log home near Athol to recoup about $550,000 for several years of unpaid federal taxes and the corresponding penalties. Hart’s legal defense in both courts centers on a provision of Idaho’s state constitution that bars senators or state representatives from any civil process 10 days before and during the legislative session/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here. And: Coeur d'Alene Press coverage here.


Supreme Court To Hear Hart Appeal

Tax-protesting Idaho State Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, takes his appeal of his state income taxes to the Idaho Supreme Court today; the arguments start at 11:10 a.m. Pacific time in the old courthouse in Coeur d'Alene, second floor, Judge Luster's courtroom. S-R reporter Tom Clouse is there and we'll have a full report/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.


Judge: Hart Case ‘Truly Remarkable’

In his quixotic battle to not pay state and federal income taxes, a North Idaho state legislator was clobbered by a windmill Wednesday. Rep. Phil Hart (R-Athol) lost his bid to forestall the Idaho Tax Commission from coming after $53,523 in state income tax he owes. One day after hearing arguments, 1st District Court Judge John Mitchell tossed Hart’s case out on its ear. “Hart’s [motion] lacks any cogent legal argument as to why this Court has jurisdiction,”  Mitchell writes in a tart, 13-page ruling. (pdf) Indeed, Mitchell goes on to say, “Instead of providing legal argument, Hart makes the following circular, wholly unsupported claim that this Court simply assume it has jurisdiction … (emphasis Mitchell’s)” The judge was not amused, and called Hart’s claims “truly remarkable.” But he didn’t mean it in a good way/Kevin Taylor, Inlander. More here.

Question: As the Riddler in the Batman movie would say, “Riddle me this …” How can Phil Hart be a member of the House Judiciary Committee and fail to file a tax appeal in a timely manner?

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D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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