Yesterday, the New York Times revealed that Al Sharpton owes around $4.5 million in back taxes to state and local authorities. They also noted that, while Al Sharpton has commented before that he’s been slowly paying off his tax obligations, his accounts have allegedly grown with the state, alongside numerous overdue accounts for travel, hotel, entertainment, rent and private school tuition.
Sharpton, last night, addressed the report, saying that he most certainly did not owe $4.5 million – that it was much closer to $800,000 thankyouverymuch – that the report was “misleading and totally out of context” (though what context you need to understand Federal and state lien documents I don’t really know, and that the only reason anyone even cares about this is because you’re all a bunch of racists who hate Barack Obama.
Sharpton said he was not sure how much he personally owed because it was still being negotiated, and questioned why the issue was raised now, suggesting it was motivated in part by hostility toward Bill de Blasio and Barack Obama.
In a 30-minute press conference at his Harlem office which ended with him abruptly walking out on a roomful of reporters, Sharpton said, “The National Action Network’s tax debt as of December of 2013 was a little over $400,000. …On that, they want $400,000 in penalties. The board’s position at our national convention was that why should we have to pay 100 percent if we can knock it down. But we continued to pay the monthly installment while we did.”
I suspect that both the Times and Sharpton are both right. The Times is reporting on what Sharpton actually owes, and Sharpton is reporting on what he’s negotiated with tax collectors to avoid being tossed in jail. He could also totally write a check tonight to pay off his debts, but he’s not going to because he’s got better things to do, and you guys should all trust him on this. He’ll have the money to you by Christmas. That’s not even a joke. That’s actually what he said.
The other part of his accusation, well, he’s going to have a hard time proving that the NYT’s editorial board is somehow in the bag for Republican challengers. But I suppose he can always try.
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