Chautauqua County’s representative in congress says he’s paid all of his overdue property taxes with interest penalties, adding that a story about his overdue taxes is part of a smear campaign building up to the 2014 election.
On Monday, Congressman Tom Reed responded to a report in the Buffalo News that said he’s been late paying his property taxes 38 times since 2005 – including 18 times will serving as a member of congress. The report stated that the Corning Republican had been overdue in paying taxes for property in both Steuben and Chemung counties, adding that he’s paid nearly $3,5000 in interest and penalties because he has repeatedly been late on his property taxes by a month or two.
“All the taxes have been paid in full. There’s been over 500 payments since 2005 that have been made an 38 of them have been paid late and I accept that,” Reed said.
Reed added that he has been involved in many investment properties, sometimes on his own and sometimes with partners.
“When we go to congress there are strict rules about what I can be involved with and what I can’t be involved with when it comes to business relationships and business operations,” he explained. “This is part of the problem because these payments include those business ventures that I was associated with prior to going to congress. and because the rules of the House prohibit me from having day-to-day control and activity in this arena, it’s very difficult to make sure everything is completely taken care of.”
Reed was a month or two late paying county taxes on his family home in Corning every year between 2005 and 2012, except for 2009. He also was late paying town and county taxes six times on a home his family owns on Keuka Lake. He was late paying school taxes on the Corning home in 2008 and 2010, according to records. The records also show taxes were paid late on three other properties that were owned by partnerships in which Reed is no longer involved. Three more properties where taxes were paid late listed Reed’s law firm as the owner.
In addition to explaining why he was late in paying his property taxes, Reed also said he believes the story is an effort by his opponents to begin portraying him in a negative light in the build-up to the 2014 election.
“This is one of those things that is very frustrating,” Reed said. “As I told some other folks, the fun has just begun. Here comes the political character assassination politics of my opponent, and the DCCC. They’re just going to come in here and try to bloody-up and engage in petty politics.”
Reed is currently a member of the House Ways and Means committee, which oversees spending and tax laws in the U.S. His likely democratic opponent in 2014 is Tompkins County Legislature Chairwoman Martha Robertson.