By Michael Tennant
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is fond of calling for tax hikes on “the rich,” but the congresswoman who earns $174,000 a year can’t be bothered to pay the $2,500 she owes her home state, reports the Washington Examiner.
According to the website:
New York state filed a tax warrant against Brook Avenue Press, a children-focused publishing house Ocasio-Cortez founded in 2012, on July 6, 2017, to collect $1,618 in unpaid corporate taxes. Ocasio-Cortez has yet to pay a penny of her overdue corporate taxes, causing the current balance of the tax warrant to swell by 52% to $2,461 as of Wednesday afternoon.
New York dissolved Brook Avenue Press in October 2016, state corporate records show. The state filed its tax warrant against Ocasio-Cortez’s defunct business about two months after she launched her successful primary campaign against former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY).
The New York Post discovered the tax warrant in March 2019 and asked Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional office about it. A spokesman said “that the taxes would be paid right away,” wrote the paper.
Later, however, another spokesperson told the Post that the state had erred in issuing the warrant.
“The congresswoman is still in the process of contesting the tax warrant. The business has been closed for several years now, and so we believe that the state Tax Department has continued to collect the franchise tax in error,” said Lauren Hitt.
That was in May 2020. As of Wednesday, the warrant remains open, the Bronx County Clerk’s Office told the Examiner.
“It’s not clear whether Ocasio-Cortez is still contesting the tax bill or if she intends to pay what her former business owes to the state,” penned the Examiner.
Ocasio-Cortez ought to be capable of paying what she allegedly owes. During her first three years in Congress, she pulled down a total of $522,000 in gross salary, which, of course, comes strictly from making other people pay their taxes. The self-described democratic socialist should be happy to pay taxes, even if she doesn’t really owe them, to help New York fund its massive welfare state.
She’s certainly not shy about demanding even more taxes from others to bankroll her preferred projects. In her first few days in office, she called for taking “60 or 70 percent” of the income of those at the “tippy tops” of the earning spectrum to fund her Green New Deal proposal. And last September, she appeared at the $35,000-a-head Met Gala in New York City in a white gown sporting the slogan “Tax the Rich.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, the designer of the gown, Aurora James, “is a notorious tax deadbeat with unpaid debts dogging her in multiple states,” reported the Post. James’ company, Cultural Brokerage Agency, has been issued at least 15 tax warrants by the state of New York since 2015 for failing to withhold income taxes from employees’ paychecks — or at least failing to remit those withholdings. “Between April 2018 and April 2019, the Internal Revenue Service placed six federal liens on Cultural Brokerage Agency totaling $103,220,” noted the newspaper. “The liens specifically cite the company’s failure to remit employee payroll taxes.” James also owes $2,500 in property taxes on the $1.6-million residence she bought in Los Angeles in 2020.
“It’s the height of hypocrisy when socialists attend a $30,000-per-ticket gala with a message of ‘tax the rich’ while wearing an overpriced dress by a luxury designer who doesn’t pay taxes,” Representative Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) told the Post. “What happened to everyone paying their fair share?”
It’s fair to say Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t among the rich when she started her business. In fact, at that time, she recognized that taxes were bad for business and supported a congressional bill doubling the tax deduction for new-business startup costs.
“You don’t really make a profit in your first year,” she said. “To get taxed on top of that is a real whammy.”
But that was then, and this is now. Now that she has made it — at taxpayers’ expense — and could easily afford to pay her back taxes, perhaps Ocasio-Cortez has come to agree with the alleged words of the late Leona Helmsley: “We don’t pay taxes; only the little people pay taxes.”