* I completely understand why somebody would stand on principle and refuse to pay a tax that wasn’t owed throughout numerous appeals. I don’t understand why a guy running statewide wouldn’t have just written the stupid little check months ago to get this off the books and then and only then continue with his appeal.
At issue are taxes on two suites of offices [Democratic state treasurer nominee Sen. Michael Frerichs] rents in Champaign from the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. One suite, 600 square feet of offices, has been used since 2007 for Mr. Frerichs’ Senate staff. The other, next door, has housed his political operation since 2010.
Since the transit district is a public agency, it does not owe taxes on property it uses. But a leasehold tax that effectively is the same as a property tax is owed by those who rent space from the district, at least some of them.
Ergo, the Champaign County Treasurer has sent bills to Mr. Frerichs.
And he hasn’t paid those bills, which total a mere $1,814.17 going all the way back to 2008. The Senate President’s office agrees with Frerichs, but the Department of Revenue has ruled against him, just as they earlier ruled against Rep. Monique Davis, who was in an almost identical situation.
* And then there’s this…
Mr. Frerichs also had owed $170.78 for his political office. But that amount was paid earlier this week after a local blogger and Mr. Cross’ campaign began making inquiries.
According to Frerichs Campaign Manager Zach Koutsky, the campaign office bills weren’t paid because they were “incorrectly” mailed to the legislative office, where they perhaps were inadvertently lumped into the larger dispute over whether legislative office is or is not exempt.
Look, I like Mike Frerichs. I think he’d make a good treasurer (as would Tom Cross). But if you’re gonna run for office you gotta clean up this little stuff first.