Elections

Records show Pat Roberts late in paying taxes on properties

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., left, greets independent candidate Greg Orman, right, before a debate in Overland Park, Kansas, on Wednesday. (Oct. 8, 2014)
Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., left, greets independent candidate Greg Orman, right, before a debate in Overland Park, Kansas, on Wednesday. (Oct. 8, 2014) Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts and his wife have paid penalties for late taxes on a property in Maryland in four of the past six years, including this year.

The Roberts campaign in return pointed to opponent Greg Orman, who it said had been late paying income taxes in Georgia.

Roberts and his wife, Franki, own a condo near the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Maryland, which borders Washington, D.C. They use it as a rental property.

The Eagle confirmed with the county treasurer’s office Oct. 7 that Roberts’ taxes on the property were due Sept. 30 and had not been paid. Roberts owed $3,512.90, which includes a late penalty of $55.83.

When The Eagle asked Roberts’ campaign manager, Corry Bliss, about the payment on Oct. 7, he said the couple had mailed in the tax check on time, but that the county had not processed it yet. A second phone call to the county treasurer’s office confirmed that many checks sent in the last week of September had not been processed and that that could include the Roberts’ check.

However, the county’s online database shows that Roberts paid the taxes electronically on Oct. 8, including the late penalty, a day after The Eagle alerted the campaign.

Bliss said again that Roberts had sent in the check on time but that he paid electronically as a precaution.

“The check was mailed on time and appears to not have been processed on time. Therefore the bill was paid online as a precaution,” Bliss said in a statement.

Roberts paid $469 in penalties for late taxes on the property between 2009 and 2012.

The property is assessed at $240,000, according to the Prince George’s County treasurer’s online database. Roberts’ financial disclosure with the Senate states the rent from property brings between $15,000 and $50,000 a year.

Records from Ford County in Kansas show that Roberts paid a $12 penalty for paying his taxes a month late on his rental property in Dodge City this year.

Bliss said Orman, the independent challenging Roberts in the Nov. 4 election, had his own tax problems.

The state of Georgia put a tax lien on Orman for more than $20,000 in 2004 for failing to pay his individual income tax for 1996 and 1997. Records show the lien was satisfied in 2004.

Mike Phillips, spokesman for the Orman campaign, said Orman had sent in his payment in 1997 but that the state of Georgia lost it.

The Orman campaign provided a letter from Georgia’s revenue commissioner backing this account, stating that Orman paid $8,154, the amount of taxes owed without penalty, in 2004 because his original check was lost.

Reach Bryan Lowry at 785-296-3006 or blowry@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BryanLowry3.

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