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McCaskill’s bill for back taxes totals nearly $320,000

By   /   March 23, 2011  /   News  /   2 Comments

The bill for not paying personal property taxes on an airplane for four years — including $233,430.18 in taxes, $79,453.23 in interest, $6,257.67 in penalties and $400 in fees — totals $319,541.08 for Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Click for audio of press conference from Sen. Claire McCaskill providing details about her taxes Monday

The total amount still listed online as owed by McCaskill on Wednesday was $32,257, according to the St. Louis County Department of Revenue.

On Monday, the Democratic senator from Missouri said she would pay $287,283 when she revealed she failed to pay taxes on the plane for four years.

During the conference call McCaskill also mentioned she would have to pay interest and penalties as well, which accounts for why $32,257 was outstanding.

St. Louis County received four checks — one for each delinquent year — totaling $287,283 from Sunset Cove, the airplane holding company, according to a story by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The Missouri Republican Party checked with the collector’s office on Tuesday and scanned a copy of the bill, which provides a break down of the amounts of taxes, interest, and penalties owed by McCaskill for each year.

The Missouri GOP called for an investigation Tuesday and filed a supplemental ethics complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee Wednesday, asking the committee to use its subpoena power to force McCaskill to release her tax documents. “Release the damn records,” said Lloyd Smith, executive director, in a call Tuesday.

After revealing the unpaid taxes — and accepting blame for what she called a mistake — McCaskill said Monday she will not set foot in the airplane again. “I have convinced my husband to sell the damn plane,” she said.

Will McCaskill release her tax documents regarding the airplane? A spokesperson for McCaskill told Missouri Watchdog on Wednesday the senator has already released her personal financial disclosure documents, which have far more information than tax returns, including additional information about self-reported political flights.

The political turbulence started earlier this month when the online news site Politico first reported a story about McCaskill flying on her airplane and billing taxpayers. McCaskill then acknowledged one flight was for “purely political travel” and refunded all of the taxpayer money she received from the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Last week, the Missouri GOP filed its original ethics complaint, accusing the senator of “drawing personal profits” from a company owned by her and her husband for plane rentals, violating Senate Rule 37.

“Elected officials shouldn’t be let off the hook when they are caught with their hand in the cookie jar,” said Smith, the Missouri GOP executive director, in a statement Wednesday. “McCaskill thinks that she can write a big check and make the problem disappear, but we hope that the Senate Ethics Committee will hold her accountable.”

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missouriwatchdog.org, (314) 482-7944

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Brian formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.