Gov. Sarah Palin has joined the ranks of politicians with tax problems. Palin has been informed that she must pay income taxes on thousands of dollars in expense money claimed while living at her Wasilla home. It is not exactly the stuff of “small town values”: Palin charged $17,000 for meals and incidentals for 312 nights spent in her own house. It appears that such charges are perfectly legal and need only to be taxed.
Sharon Leighow, Palin’s spokeswoman insists that “The amount of taxes owed is a private matter. If the governor collects future per diem, those documents would be a matter of public record.” That is not exactly the position taken by the GOP on the Obama nominee as well as Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, who faces his own tax controversy.
Palin was charging $60 a day just to be at home in Wasilla since her technical residence is the Governor’s mansion. Thus, her own home was treated like a hotel stay in order to charge the state. Palin was clearly allowed to take this money and this may be the same rule in other states, but it seems a bit indulgent. I suppose the argument is that the Governor could have stayed in a hotel and that Wasilla is one of the bigger cities in the state.
Begich’s situation involved the back taxes he paid on a vehicle provided to him by the city when he was mayor.
This has not been a good week for Palin. First, colleagues reported that she appeared overly defensive at a recent meeting when asked about her plans for the new year as governor. Then her daughter Bristol gave an interview stating that abstinence is “not realistic” as a rule for teenagers — a position by Bristol that was already assumed. This follows a recent finding that Palin’s husband Todd and top aides were guilty of contempt in the Troopergate scandal.
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