Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 24, 2014

Vern Buchanan Fined for Unpaid Taxes

Florida Republican Vern Buchanan — a member of the House committee that writes the tax code — forgot to pay his 2012 property taxes, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reported.

“The three-week delay was inadvertent and rectified almost immediately,” said Max Goodman, Buchanan’s communications director.

Buchanan’s property at 23 D St. SE in Washington, D.C., cost $1.6 million in 2010, and is officially owned by a limited liability corporation operated by his wife, Sandra. The property has been the site of at least 11 fundraisers, ranging from an April 2011 barbecue to a March 2010 housewarming party. The minimum contribution to attend events at the home varied from $500 to $1,000.

The $16,037 property tax on the home was paid late, and, consequently, the Florida Republican paid $801.87 in penalties. Although he sits on the Ways and Means Committee, it is not the first time the congressman has been accused of tax problems.

In 2008, Buchanan’s chief financial officer for a number of his businesses, Sal Rosa, accused the congressman of tax evasion.

Buchanan also filed amended personal financial disclosure forms in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, after failing to report positions he held with private companies and a small amount of income earned from those positions. The House Ethics Committee cleared Buchanan of any wrongdoing.

In September 2012, Buchanan’s former business partner, Timothy Mobley, pleaded guilty to illegally reimbursing employees for more than $80,000 in donations made to Buchanan’s congressional campaign.

Buchanan, who was named to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s list of the most corrupt members in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, says he was “totally unaware” of the scheme.

Buchanan most likely did not fail to pay his property tax on time because he didn’t have the money. He was a member of Roll Call’s 50 Richest members in 2012 with over $40 million in assets.

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