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Did you hear that Sen. Claire McCaskill will never set foot on the plane again?

http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/21/2127166/mccaskill-says-she-owes-nearly.html

 

McCaskill says she owes nearly $300,000 in back taxes on airplane

 BY DAVID GOLDSTEIN

MCCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS

Sen. Claire McCaskill said Monday that she owes nearly $300,000 for four years' worth of back taxes on a private airplane that has become a political headache.

McCaskill said she'd pay the bill immediately and has told her husband to "sell the damn plane."

"I will never set foot on the plane again," McCaskill said.

McCaskill, a first-term Missouri Democrat, narrowly defeated incumbent GOP Sen. Jim Talent in 2006, and she faced an already uphill re-election fight next year. Democrats control 53 seats in the Senate, and with a slew of retirements, McCaskill's problems cast yet more uncertainty on the party's efforts to retain its thin majority.

The airplane foul-up has handed Republicans a tailor-made issue to attack the image that McCaskill has so carefully built as an opponent of government excess and secrecy.

McCaskill has already had to face questions about why she used the plane for a political trip that her office mistakenly billed to the taxpayers. Using public funds for political travel is prohibited by Senate rules.

"This is the third time in less than two weeks that she's had to change her story about her private plane, and she only admitted any of her wrongdoing once she got caught by the media," Rob Jesmer, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in a statement.

McCaskill, former Missouri state auditor, took full responsibility for the failure to pay the $287,273 in personal property taxes that her family owes St. Louis County, where it stored the aircraft.

She insisted that there was no effort on her family's part to evade taxes because they've consistently paid the state and county sales taxes on the plane.

But under Missouri law, McCaskill said she has since learned, an owner is responsible for "self-reporting" the aircraft to the county where it is kept. Otherwise, counties remain unaware and the owner would never receive a personal property tax bill for the plane.

"There are people I could blame for this, but I know better," McCaskill said. "As an auditor, I know I should have checked for myself. I should have checked for the documentation. I should have been asking the question."

McCaskill's revelation is likely to persuade Republicans that she's politically vulnerable and further energize an aggressive campaign to recapture her seat.

"It's something that is going to be used against her in the upcoming election," said Peverill Squire, who teaches political science at the University of Missouri. "She is probably lucky it comes now and well ahead of Election Day.

 

Two candidates have already entered the Republican primary field for her seat, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and unsuccessful 2008 House candidate Ed Martin. Two more, Republican Rep. Todd Akin and former Missouri GOP chairman Ann Wagner, are considering the contest.

Politico, a Washington-based news organization covering politics and Capitol Hill, first reported earlier this month about McCaskill's use of her plane for Senate business.

The costs were included in a check for $88,000 that McCaskill paid to the U.S. Treasury this month after her office discovered that among 89 official flights between 2007 and 2010 in which she used her own plane, one turned out to be to a political event in Hannibal, Mo. That trip alone cost $1,220.

 
agentwanda

Asked by agentwanda at 1:52 PM on Mar. 22, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 35 (73,667 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • Yeah it's only 300 grand..:shrugs: we all would forget about that..surely.
    tnmomofive

    Answer by tnmomofive at 11:18 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • How do you make that kind of mistake? As a former State Auditor you think she would have some clue how things work. Scary how dumb some of these politicians claim to be. I am not a politician but we do own a small plane and pay personal property taxes on it. We have to self report also in our state we did the research and made sure all taxes were paid. I would think anyone who is in her position would have done the research too and made sure all taxes were paid and not wait until someone pointed it out to her. Looks bad.

    Unsweet if this had been a Repub would you be defending them? I think not.lol
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:26 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • Scary how dumb some of these politicians claim to be. I am not a politician but we do own a small plane and pay personal property taxes on it. We have to self report also in our state we did the research and made sure all taxes were paid. I would think anyone who is in her position would have done the research too and made sure all taxes were paid and not wait until someone pointed it out to her.

    ***
    Oh, they're definitely not dumb! They only CLAIM to have been "misinformed" when they're CAUGHT!! Big difference!! Just like Tim Geithner's "oops" what do you mean I owe back income taxes?! LOL FAIL!!
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 3:35 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • I hadn't heard that...Thanks for the update.
    UpSheRises

    Answer by UpSheRises at 2:28 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • Let me guess, she uses Turbo Tax too?
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 6:40 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • To not know you owe back taxes, one has to have their head buried in the sand. Neither the state of residency NOR the IRS ignore non-payment of taxes owed. The difference between a politician, a millionaire, and an ordinary citizen when it comes to owing taxes is that the ordinary person makes the effort to pay and keep their taxes up to date. The rest have accountants to take the fall. Although I do find it odd that all the notices sent out and names in the peper, these owers never know anything.....lol
    foreverb3

    Answer by foreverb3 at 6:45 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • Sorry~~~~~~that should be paper
    foreverb3

    Answer by foreverb3 at 6:46 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • toddler tantrum

    tasches

    Answer by tasches at 7:49 PM on Mar. 22, 2011

  • She's paying it....is she being prosecuted?...so whats the big deal? o just political ammo


    --
    must be free pass day again for democrats.
    smacks of desperation in a dwindling democratic pool
    jewjewbee

    Answer by jewjewbee at 8:53 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

  • Just another Democrat using the "I didn't know" card
    itsmesteph11

    Answer by itsmesteph11 at 9:16 AM on Mar. 23, 2011

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