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Law

Idaho Lawmaker Is Tax Crusader To Some, Tax Dodger To Feds

The federal government says Phil Hart owes more than half a million dollars in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. The U.S. Justice Department is threatening to foreclose on his home near Athol, Idaho if he doesn’t pay up. Meanwhile, Idaho tax collectors say Hart owes the state another $53,000.

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Rep. Hart has already been re-elected once since his tax troubles came out and he’s now running for a fifth term. Boise State University political science professor Gary Moncrief studies the Idaho legislature.

“Some of his positions resonate pretty well with the people in that district,” Moncrief says.

Hart is a Ron Paul supporter who this year tried to pass a bill to make gold and silver coins legal tender in the state of Idaho.

He faces three Republican challengers in next month’s primary. And there’s a viable Democratic candidate come the general election. Political analysts we talked to say this year Hart could have a run for his money because of the flurry of challengers and his mounting tax woes.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Phil Hart campaign website

http://hart4legislature.com/

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network

Law
Inland Northwest Correspondent Jessica Robinson reports from the Northwest News Network's bureau in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. From the politics of wolves to mining regulation to small town gay rights movements, Jessica covers the economic, demographic and environmental trends that are shaping places east of the Cascades.