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Feds Sue Phil Hart Over Unpaid $550K

You can read my full story here at spokesman.com on the U.S. Justice Department's lawsuit against Idaho Rep. Phil Hart, which seeks to foreclose on his log home in Athol for more than half a million in back federal income taxes, penalties and interest. Through Oct. 31, 2011, the complaint says, Hart owes the IRS $549,703.48, for back taxes from 1996 to 2008. Hart wasn't immediately available for comment. He's also fighting the Idaho State Tax Commission over more than $53,000 unpaid state income taxes, penalties and interest; though he's lost repeatedly, his appeal to the Idaho Supreme Court likely will come up for a hearing in April. The federal complaint also asks the court to set aside the “fraudulent transfer” of the home to various parties including the trust, determine that the trust is a “sham entity”/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. Complaint here, courtesy of Brad Iverson-Long/Idaho Business Review. (SR file photo, of Phil Hart's Rathdrum home)

Question: Does this make state Rep. Phil Hart a greater hero in Tea Party circles? Or are fair-minded Tea Partiers beginning to see through this guy?

Phil Hart Appeals To Supreme Court

Tax-protesting state Rep. Phil Hart is taking his fight against having to pay past-due state income taxes to the Idaho Supreme Court, despite already having lost four appeals. Hart, R-Athol, lost his fourth round in March, when 1st District Judge John Mitchell refused to reconsider a December 2010 decision tossing out the appeal. In a 13-page decision, the judge twice termed Hart’s arguments “simply wrong,” and called his central argument – that he’d actually filed his appeal one day earlier than the state says – “patently wrong.” Hart, whose first court appeal in November 2010 charged that the state income tax is unconstitutional, also is arguing that he should have months longer to appeal his taxes than other citizens because of his status as an Idaho state legislator/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Reaction?

Couple gets prison time for tax evasion

A former Colbert couple, who reportedly has made millions from the sale of porcelain figurines, has been sentenced to federal prison for refusing to pay more than $800,000 in income taxes.

Scott D. and Kristin W. Haynes, both 56, were sentenced late Tuesday after pleading guilty to five counts of failing to file tax returns for the years 1999 through 2003. They were arrested June 22 when they traveled to Florida after living for several years on a tropical island in the Caribbean that is part of Honduras.

Kristin Haynes is the artist and creator of figurines sold nationwide under the “Dreamsicles” trademark. Scott Haynes was a 50 percent shareholder in the corporation, from which the couple earned royalties from the sales of her creations.

Read the rest of the story here.

EOB: Board Rejects Hart’s Tax Appeal

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/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise.

Factoid: 88 percent of Huckleberries Online voters consider Rep. Phil Hart to be a “habitual tax scofflaw” while only 9% consider him to be a “principled tax resister.” What would you say to the 9% who are standing by their man?

HBO Poll: Rep. Hart Is A Tax Dodger

  • Tuesday Poll: 173 of 226 respondents (77%) said Rep. Phil Hart, who says income taxes are unconstitutional and owes $400,000 in federal and state taxes, is a tax dodger who hides behind principles. 46 of 226 respondents (20%) say he’s a principled man. 7 of 226 respondents (3%) were undecided.
  • Today’s Poll: Should House Speaker Lawerence Denney call for an ethics probe into Rep. Phil Hart’s tax problems?