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Sen. McCaskill paid condo property taxes late

Sen. McCaskill paid condo property taxes late

May 21st, 2012 in News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill paid several hundred dollars of interest and penalties after she was several weeks late in paying her property taxes on a Washington, D.C., condominium.

The Democratic senator from Missouri paid $197 in penalties and interest - on top of the $1,514 in taxes owed for half the year - after missing the fall 2011 tax deadline by about three weeks, The Kansas City Star reported ( ).

"Unlike other jurisdictions that bill just once a year, they bill twice a year," McCaskill told the newspaper. "Somehow the second bill that came to my condo in D.C. slipped through the cracks, and it got paid late."

McCaskill also paid $198 in penalties and interest after she was late on her spring 2010 property tax payment. And records show she paid a fine and interest for a late payment in 2008, the newspaper reported.

This year, McCaskill paid her taxes early and in advance for the full year, her campaign said Monday.

McCaskill is seeking a second, six-year term in the Senate in this year's elections. The Republican field of challengers includes former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin and St. Louis businessman John Brunner.

Reports about the late condominium taxes come after McCaskill took responsibility last year for $320,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties on an airplane her family owned in St. Louis County.

Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Lloyd Smith said the late tax payments show McCaskill, a former state auditor, doesn't follow her own talk about accountability and fiscal oversight

"Claire McCaskill must believe that there are two sets of rules - one for her and one for everyone else," Smith said. "McCaskill has made a career out of lecturing others about accountability, oversight and paying their taxes. But at the same time, she has a history of tax problems."

McCaskill campaign spokesman Erik Dorey called the report about her late condo tax payments a "petty political attack, planted by pathetically desperate Republican operatives over a simple misunderstanding that amounts to a couple hundred dollars and couple of weeks."

Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, of Missouri, also has had tax issues related to property he owned in Washington, D.C., with his wife. When he was a congressman in 2009, Blunt erroneously claimed an exemption only available to D.C. residents. The district's government took the blame, but Blunt ended up paying nearly $7,000 in back taxes.