By: Ellen Cans
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has said she wants to raise taxes for the rich — but at the same time she seems to be dodging some of her own tax debts. The freshman Democratic congresswoman from the Bronx has not paid a tax bill left over from a failed business venture seven years ago. In 2012, AOC founded Brook Avenue Press, a publishing house for designers, artists and writers from urban areas who would paint the Bronx in a positive light for children’s books.
As reported by the NY Post, the state dissolved the company in 2016, as per public records. Such a move by the state can come after a business fails to pay corporate taxes or file a return. On July 6, 2017 the state Tax Department filed a warrant against her closed business, citing an unpaid bill in excess of $1,618.36.
As of this Friday, the tax warrant had still not been paid or cleared, with the outstanding balance growing to $2,088.78, as per the department. “She just thinks she’s better than everyone else. Clearly, she’s worse,” said Hank Sheinkopf, spokesman for Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, AOC’s primary opponent for the June primary-race. Ocasio-Cortez’s camp has responded to say that AOC is challenging the $2,088.78 bill because it was allotted “in error”.
“The congresswoman is still in the process of contesting the tax warrant. The business has been closed for several years now, and so we believe that the state Tax Department has continued to collect the franchise tax in error,” said Lauren Hitt, an AOC spokeswoman. “As anyone who’s tried to contest a tax bill in error knows, it takes time,” Hitt added.
On June 23, AOC, a first-term incumbent, will face Democratic voters again in the primary for the 14th Congressional District covering parts of The Bronx and Queens. The 30-year-old liberal, who made waves unseating Ex-Congressman and former Queens Democratic Party chairman Joe Crowley in the 2018 primary. She became the youngest woman to serve in the U.S. congress. One of the first things the outspoken congresswoman did in 2019, was to announce that she would like to raise taxes on the country’s wealthiest to as much as 70 percent.
Her Democratic opponent, Caruso-Cabrera, previously a CNBC anchor, had not yet publically posted her own financial statements. Her campaign spokesman said it was filed Friday —right on time for the May 15 deadline.