Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Nelson: I Won’t Pay All Back Taxes

Senator Ben Nelson’s spokesperson said Nelson WILL NOT pay the property taxes that should have been due on his Sarpy County hunting retreat from 1998 through 2003.

The idea that Nelson would pay the taxes he owes from that time was described by Nelson’s spokesperson as “Silly” (GOP official says Nelson should pay all tax to '98 – OWH – 8/9/06).

Silly? Silly is a full page ad featuring the Cat in the Hat.

Paying full restitution on taxes on which you got an illegal break is called Fairness.

Let’s review: In order to receive a TAX BREAK through the Greenbelt designation, one must APPLY for it, by filling out a form for the property. The designation DID NOT come with the property (no matter what Nelson claims). And why would it? The designation is for land that will be used for agricultural purposes. Who’s to say what the new owner of the land will use it for?

But we KNOW this: Ben Nelson applied for the designation, TWICE, in 1999 and 2001. The land was not, and is not, being used for agricultural purposes. Nonetheless, Nelson, a millionaire many times over, received a tax break that he did not deserve from 1999 through 2006.

So Ben Nelson should pay his fair share of taxes that he failed to pay during that period.

While Sarpy County can only, by law, make him pay the taxes he cheated out of for the past three years, he SHOULD pay the taxes he owes all the way back to 1999. That is only fair.

Nelson claims the matter is “resolved.”

Well, let us DISAGREE.

The fact that Nelson twice signed documents to get a tax break he didn’t deserve was bad enough – you’d think a lawyer, former Governor, Senator would know better than to sign something like that, if indeed it was by mistake. But the fact that he now REFUSES to make up for all the undeserved tax breaks can only be described with one word: Outrageous.

Sarpy County GOP chairman John Strawn was right to call Nelson on this, but he shouldn’t have had to. Ben Nelson brought this issue upon himself. His mocking of Pete Ricketts caused people to take a second look at all of his properties, and now when Nelson’s been caught red-handed, he has refused to make restitution.

Senator Nelson, pay your taxes.

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