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Hart ruling may come today

Idaho state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol, was in a Coeur d’Alene courtroom Tuesday attempting to appeal a state Board of Tax Appeals decision rejecting his state income tax appeal.

The state Tax Commission has ordered Hart to pay $53,523 in back state income taxes, penalties and interest. First District Court Judge John Mitchell took the case under advisement and said he may rule as early as today.

In a motion to dismiss Hart’s appeal, Deputy Attorney General William von Tagen argued that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the appeal because Hart did not file it in a timely fashion.

Hart’s attorney, Starr Kelso, however, said if this court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case, then no court, anywhere, does. “This court has jurisdiction. That’s all this case is about,” Kelso said.

Hart argued in his appeal that as a state legislator, he should have had more time to file. Hart also contends Idaho’s income tax is unconstitutional.