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Corruption Chronicles

Georgia Lawmakers Evade Taxes

Around ten percent of Georgia state legislators have not paid their taxes and one veteran senator proudly admits he’s blown off the Internal Revenue Service for at least two years. 

The violations were made public recently when the Georgia Senate tried implementing a rule designed to punish members who don’t pay their taxes. The action was a response to 22 state legislators—Democrats and Republicans in both the Georgia House and Senate—who regularly fail to pay income taxes. 

Citing state and federal privacy laws, the violators’ names have not been made public but a list was given to the chairmen of the House and Senate ethics committees. Among them is Georgia’s highest ranking Democratic state senator, Robert Brown of Macon.

The Senate Minority leader quipped that he’s not sure whether he actually owes the state or federal government any money because he hasn’t filed tax returns for at least two years. Brown offered the information as he argued against the Senate’s proposed measure to take action against members like him. 

On a national level, the Obama Administration has a special affinity for public officials who evade taxes. Several top-level appointees—including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner—didn’t pay taxes for years and owed the government tens of thousands of dollars when the president selected them. Perhaps Obama can tap some Georgia lawmakers to be "czars."  


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