It seems yet another would-be member of the Obama administration accidentally forgot to pay taxes. It was revealed today that the husband of Secretary of Labor nominee Rep. Hilda Solis had 15 outstanding state and county tax liens totaling $7,630 against his automobile business, some of them dating back over 16 years.
White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs had this to say:.
"The White House believes that if you owe taxes you should pay them." Robert Gibbs
I certainly hope that they do. Though I have to observe that certain people I knew when I lived in Chicago certainly thought that paying all their taxes was strictly optional.
The couple is claiming ignorance of the outstanding liens. While I have little specific knowledge of the tax lien process in California, this doesn't pass the smell test. Liens aren't usually imposed until there have been a series of notices asking for payment. In addition, in our age of computerization the existence of unpaid taxes often effects an owner's ability to keep the business completely legitimate. That's because city, county and state agencies now readily share information about the unpaid taxes and may refuse to renew many licenses and certifications until shown proof that all applicable taxes have been paid. For example, here in North Carolina counties are allowed to impose personal property taxes on motor vehicles. If that tax it is not paid in full, including interest on a late payment, the vehicle owner will not be able to get the annual registration renewed by the state the following year. Given California's general record for aggressiveness in tax collection procedures, I imagine a similar system is in effect there.