Florida 13th News
Christine Jennings who is still challenging the 2006 election results, and plans on running in 2008, has been delinquent in paying payroll taxes to the IRS that were incurred as a result of her 2004 and 2006 campaigns. This according to today's Bradenton Herald.
MANATEE --Christine Jennings' 2004 and 2006 congressional campaigns went as long as three years without paying required payroll taxes, campaign finance reports show.First lets make this clear, late payment of payroll taxes will result in IRS penalties plus interest. Its just a question of whether Jennings has paid penalties and interest already or will do so in the future. The IRS takes the late payment of taxes owed them very seriously.
Her 2004 campaign committee began paying employees in early 2004, but didn't pay payroll taxes until May of this year, reports show. Her 2006 committee started issuing employee paychecks in June 2005 but didn't make a payroll tax payment until 13 months later.
The late tax payments - which totaled nearly $125,000 - come after the Federal Election Commission repeatedly cited problems with the 2006 Jennings campaign's finance reports, not including the missing payroll taxes.
A Jennings spokesman downplayed the delayed tax payments, first reported Tuesday by the Washington, D.C., publication The Hill.
"We had an issue internally and once we noticed it, we took care of it," David Kochman said. "Christine, once she found out about it, was very adamant that it be taken care of immediately."
Kochman declined to say how the missed tax payments were discovered or whether the campaigns had to pay penalties or interest. Officials with the Internal Revenue Service and the Florida Department of Revenue declined comment.
Finance reports show Jennings' 2006 campaign began making payments to the IRS in July of that year. In all, the campaign paid the IRS more than $101,000 though year's end.
Her 2004 campaign paid the IRS $23,836 for payroll taxes on May 23, 2007, the same day Jennings put $16,517 of her own money into the campaign account, reports show. She later put in another $318, and three weeks later the campaign paid $300 to the Florida Department of Revenue.
Kochman said Jennings' contributions were used toward the overdue payroll taxes, and said Jennings' 2008 campaign has hired an outside payroll service.
He also declined to say whether the matter led Jennings, a retired banker, to change campaign treasurers for her 2008 bid for the 13th Congressional District seat now held by Rep. Vern Buchanan.
None of this news reflects very well on Jennings. First of all because of her financial background. A banker should know a little something about paying taxes. This kind of lapse makes one question her overall skills and how they would effect her work in Congress, if Jennings was ever elected.
Another question I have is- Was the non-payment deliberate or an oversight? I wouldn't be surprised if it was the former. People seeking political office take shortcuts all the time in their quest for office. The Jennings campaign has to employ an accountant(s) to handle the matters of paying salaries and taxes. So why weren't payroll taxes paid? Was the non-payment an indirect loan to the Jennings campaign? An extra $100,000 does come in handy when you're trying to get elected.
Bottom line- I wouldn't be voting for Christine Jennings if I lived within the boundaries of the Florida 13th Congressional District. Local Democrats would be wise to find another candidate, one that can handle finances and isn't a sore loser.
Update- I meant to note this before. The Bradenton Herald doesn't tell whether Christine Jennings is a Democrat or Republican till the 12th paragraph of the story. No political bias here.(Sarcastic laughter time)
Also welcome Don Surber readers.
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