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Monday, December 13, 2010

Ann Marie Buerkle of NY-25 has the kind of tax issues one wants to see in a politician

By Sam Foster

 

One of the three best campaign blogs careening through the vast blogiverse has a story up on Ann Marie Buerkle's latest tax problems:

The problem began when Video King, a former tenant in a strip shopping center Buerkle owns on Kasson Road in Camillus, incorrectly reported how it paid its rent for the property, Buerkle said.

Video King filled out an IRS form showing it paid Buerkle "non-employee compensation" instead of correctly listing the payments as rent, according to Buerkle's accountant, Ken Cardarelli, of Onondaga Hill.

The mistake prompted the IRS to seek additional income tax from Buerkle. The IRS shared its information under a reciprocity agreement with New York state, which also sought additional income tax, Cardarelli said. He said Buerkle's efforts to clear her tax record were complicated because Video King was bankrupt and shut down its operations.

"Unfortunately, no one was available at Video King to remedy their error," Cardarelli said. "It took so long to get all cleared up. But the IRS eventually cleared the tax and any interest and paid her back some interest." He said the issue with the IRS was settled in the first quarter of this year, and the information was shared with New York state.

Cardarelli said he was surprised to hear about the tax warrant filed Dec. 3 in the Onondaga County clerk's office. "The state said it was on hold, and they are reviewing the matter," Cardarelli said of his last contact with state tax officials. "It could take up to 90 days."

Apparently, the DCCC is looking to capitalize on Buerkle's supposed tax error despite the fact that this has already been tried and failed.

However, it is interesting to compare Ann Marie Buerkle's situation to those of prominent Democrats.  Where Democrats are concerned, tax issues involve fraud of the creative accounting variety.  Yet, these aren't the only kind of tax issues that can arise.

Ann Marie Buerkle has the other kind of tax issues; the kind that one actually wants to see in a Washington politician.  Buerkle's supposed "tax problems" are really nothing more than a result of a business woman being in business.  It is nothing less than proof positive that she knows what small businesses are up against.

Ann Marie's Buerkle's first blush with tax issues occurred as a result of a triple-net lease agreement she'd established with a tenant.  This particular agreement assigns responsibility of tax payments to the tenant.  However, Ann Marie Buerkle's name is what pops up on the tax role.  So, while this arrangement may sound risky, it's actually common practice with commercial leases and they are often, widely lucrative. 

Flash forward to today and Buerkle faces a separate issue relating to incorrect tax preparation from a tenant.  The issue is easily resolved and probably more common for small business owners than you think which is why this latest ploy against Buerkle by the DCCC isn't likely to gain any political capital.

Because, you can try and convict Ann Marie Buerkle of being a small business owner with small business problems, but you also can't concoct a better argument for her reelection.

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