By Johnny Kampis | Missouri Watchdog
ST. LOUIS — Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri was late yet again on her tax bill.
She paid $197 in penalties and interest for missing the fall 2011 tax payment of her Washington, D.C., condominium on top of $1,514 in tax liabilities.
“Unlike other jurisdictions that bill just once a year, they bill twice a year,” the Missouri senator told the Kansas City Star of the Washington D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. “Somehow the second bill that came to my condo in D.C. slipped through the cracks, and it got paid late.”
This follows the more than $300,000 in back taxes and penalties she owed last year to St. Louis County for a private plane registered to a limited liability corporation partially owned by McCaskill and her family.
The Star reported McCaskill has been late on three property tax bills for her condo since buying it for $700,000 in 2007.
Missouri Watchdog attempted to contact McCaskill at her D.C. office Tuesday, but was unsuccessful.
Missouri Republican Party Executive Director Lloyd Smith said McCaskill, the state auditor from 1999-2007, doesn’t play by the rules she sets for others.
“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,” Smith said.
When Politico discovered she owed the back taxes on the plane, McCaskill held a news conference where she took responsibility for the mistake and vowed never to fly in the plane again. It was later sold.
“Nobody in their right mind would not pay those taxes on time if they knew they owed it,” McCaskill said. “I think I’ve said the plane was a big, sloppy, embarrassing mistake.”
Missouri Watchdog reported last year that the plane in question was leased to McCaskill by Timesaver LLC, a Delaware-based firm partly owned by the senator. It’s not clear what type of business Timesaver is, and it’s one of about 280 listed on her financial disclosure forms. Republicans have called on McCaskill to open the books on the businesses, but she has declined to do so.
Missouri’s Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blount paid $7,000 in back taxes on his D.C. residence in 2009. Blount said he mistakenly claimed an exemption on the house only available to D.C. residents.
McCaskill is seeking a second term in the Senate against the winner of the August GOP primary, which includes eight candidates.
Todd Akin, John Brunner and Sarah Steelman, whom insiders consider the front-runners for the Republican nomination, did not return calls Tuesday from Missouri Watchdog. Akin has served Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2000, while Rolla resident Steelman served as Missouri treasurer from 2004 to 2008. Brunner is the third generation in his family to run St. Louis-based personal care products company Vi-Jon.