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Southerland Buys A Boat Instead of Paying Taxes on Time

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Southerland voted to raise taxes on middle class, but refused to pay his own taxes at least 27 times while complaining about his $174,000 a year salary  

TALLAHASSEE, FL — Congressman Steve Southerland has some explaining to do following an explosive The Hill article yesterday detailing how he failed to pay his taxes on time at least 27 times. In the article, Southerland's spokesman claims that he refused to pay his taxes on time because he "'put paying his employees and keeping the lights on first,' and then paid his taxes," but in 2006 — one of the years he paid his taxes late — Southerland purchased a 32 ft. boat estimated at a value of between $100,000 to $250,000.

In fact, Southerland even failed to pay taxes on time when he was a member of Congress — and owed back taxes as recently as July of 2012.  Even worse, Southerland voted to raise taxes on middle class families by over $2,000 a year — while refusing to pay his own property taxes 27 times and complaining that his $174,000 a year salary is "not so much" 

"While Congressman Southerland has no trouble voting to raise taxes on middle class families, he's refused to pay his own taxes on time at least 27 times — and now he's lying about his history of financial recklessness in order to cover up the fact that he bought a boat instead of paying his taxes on time," said Florida Democratic Party spokesman David Bergstein. "Just like the typical politician he's become, Southerland continues to show the people of north Florida that he's out of touch with our values, and Southerland's votes and actions demonstrate that he's become part of the problem in Washington and can't be trusted with our nation's fiscal future."  

Recent polling shows that the race between Congressman Southerland and Al Lawson is tied, with the embattled incumbent looking increasingly vulnerable.

BACKGROUND

Southerland voted for Ryan's budget that raised taxes on middle class families by an average of over $2,000 a year. "While Mitt Romney would reportedly pay less than one percent of his income in taxes under Paul Ryan's previous tax plan, most Americans making less than $200,000 would see a tax hike under the budget of Ryan proposed before his selection to be Romney's running mate, according to a report by Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D-Pa.)…Households with incomes between $100,000 and $200,000 would see their taxes increase by $2,681, the Joint Economic Committee said." [ABC, 8/12/12; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12;] 

Southerland voted to block tax cuts for middle class Americans six times. In 2011, Southerland voted against considering a payroll tax cut extension for working Americans six times. He voted three times to prevent Democrats from considering the Payroll Tax Holiday Extension Act of 2011, which extended middle class tax relief for 2012. He voted against considering a separate Democratic substitute amendment, against considering the Middle Class Fairness and Putting America Back to Work Act of 2011, and against considering a separate Senate bill, which would all extend middle class tax relief. [HR 477, Vote #870, 11/30/11; HR 479,Vote #889, 12/06/11; HR 487, Vote #902, 12/08/11; HR 491, Vote #918, 12/13/11; HR 493, Vote #925, 12/14/11; HR 502, Vote #944, 12/20/11] 

Southerland Said $174,000 Salary “Not So Much.” “U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland told retirees Wednesday that serving in Congress is a great honor and privilege, but not cushy job with lavish insurance and pension benefits that many disgruntled taxpayers seem to think it is.  He said his $174,000 salary is not so much […] He added that ‘if you took the hours that I work and divided it into my pay,’ the $174,000 salary would not seem so high.” [Florida Capital News, 8/25/11]

In 2006 — one of the years Southerland paid his taxes late — he purchased a 32 ft. Century Boat. In June 2006, Southerland took out a loan worth between $100,001 and $250,000 to buy a 32 ft. Century Boat. [Bay County Tax Collector, 1995-2012; Washington County Tax Collector 2008-2012; Southerland Personal Financial Disclosure Form, filed 2011]

Southerland refused to pay his taxes on time at least 27 times.   Between 1995 and 2012, the property tax for the properties related to Southerland’s business paid their taxes late 27 times and paid more than $10,864 in late tax fees and penalties. 

According to the Florida Department of State, Southerland is currently President of Machriste, inc. Additionally, he reported Machriste Inc as an asset valued at $250,000- $1 million in his financial disclosure statement filed in May 2012 . [Department of State, 4/26/12; House Financial Disclosure Statement for Calendar Year 2011, filed 5/30/12]

Property Tax History for 100 E 19th St, Panama City, Florida – Assessor #14190-050-000

Owned by W. Steve Southerland, property taxes for this property were occasionally paid for by Machriste, Inc, which has its headquarters at 100 E 19th St, Panama City, Florida. The property taxes were paid late at least six times.[Bay County Tax Collector, 100 E 19th St., Assessor #14190-050-000, 2007-2011]

Year

Taxable Value

Taxes

Late

Resolution

2000

$675,803.00

$14,316.48

Yes - Certificate Sold 5/31/01

Tax certificate sold for $14,322.73

2005

$851,961.00

$16,044.30

Yes - Paid 5/10/06

Paid $16,545.13

2006

$900,299.00

$13,844.26

Yes - Paid 5/29/07

Paid $14,280.29

2007

$828,042.00

$11,775.59

Yes - Paid 5/22/08

Paid $12,150.76

2008

$819,936.00

$11,856.12

Yes - Certificate Sold 6/30/09

Tax Certificate   Sold for $13,508.08

2009

$803,724.00

$12,312.88

Yes - Certificate Sold 7/20/10

Tax Certificate Sold for $14,206.77

2010

$797,218.00

$12,010.66

No

Paid $12,010.66

2011

$781,005.00

$11,539.89

No

Paid $11,539.89

[Bay County Tax Collector, 100 E 19th St., Assessor #14190-050-000, 2007-2011] 

Property Tax History for 100 E 19th St, Panama City, Florida – Assessor #01175-000 

Owned by Machriste, Inc., the property taxes were paid late at least six times. [Bay County Tax Collector, 100 E 19th St., Assessor #01175-000, 2005-2011]

100 E 19th St, Panama City, Florida – Assessor #01175-000

 

Year

Fair Market Value

Taxes

Late

Resolution

2000

$280,591.00

$5,648.40

Yes- Certificate Sold

12/31/09

Paid

$5,937.07

2005

$56,130.00

$1,046.66

Yes - Paid   5/10/06

Paid $1,085.91

2006

$68,698.00

$1,043.66

Yes - Paid   5/29/07

Paid $1,083.18

2007

$69,692.00

$980.47

Yes - Paid   5/22/08

Paid $1,018.45

2008

$63,222.00

$546.86

Yes - Paid   6/30/09

Paid $580.22

2009

$73,542.00

$736.24

Yes - Paid 7/21/10

Paid $789.16

2010

$60,114.00

$523.66

No

 Paid

$523.66

2011

$52,073.00

$395.90

No

 Paid

$387.98

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Bay County Tax Collector, 100 E 19th St., Assessor #01175-000, 2005-2011]

Property Tax Payment History for 1111 Florida Ave, Lynn Haven, Florida – Assessor #09877-010-000

 Owned by Machriste, Inc., the property taxes at 1111 Florida Avenue were paid at least six times. [Bay County Tax Collector, 1111 Florida Ave., 1999-2011]

1111 Florida Ave, Lynn Haven, Florida – Assessor #09877-010-000

Year

Taxable Value

Taxes

Late

Resolution

2000

$30,500.00

$625.14

Yes - Certificate Sold 12/31/01

Tax certificate sold for $666.00

2005

$89,336.00

$1,593.07

Yes - Paid 4/19/06

Paid $1640.86

2006

$88,795.00

$1,283.53

Yes - Paid 5/29/07

Paid $1338.60

2007

$226,464.00

$3,008.94

Yes - Certificate Sold 5/30/08

Paid $3,291.94

2008

$225,384.00

$3,087.57

Yes - Certificate Sold 9/30/09

Tax Certificate Sold for $3,546.02

2009

$168,593.00

$2,454.58

Yes - Certificate Sold 7/21/12

Tax Certificate Sold for $2,827.21

2010

$167,513.00

$2,402.01

No

Paid

$2,402.01

2011

$178,186.00

$2,503.37

No

Paid

$2,478.34

[Bay County Tax Collector, 1111 Florida Ave., 1999-2011]

Property Tax Payment History for 1112 Ohio Ave, Lynn Haven, Florida – Assessor #09877-000-000

Owned by Machriste, Inc., the property taxes at 1112 Ohio Avenue were paid at least five times. [Bay County Tax Collector, 1112 Ohio Ave., 1999-2011] 

1112 Ohio Ave, Lynn Haven, Florida – Assessor #09877-000-000

Year

Taxable Value

Taxes

Late

Resolution

2005

$426,186.00

$7,599.84

Yes - Paid 4/19/06

Paid $7,827.84

2006

$422,802.00

$6,111.68

Yes - Paid 5/29/07

Paid $6313.66

2007

$740,667.00

$9,840.94

Yes - Certificate Sold 5/30/08

Paid $10,682.94

2008

$737,283.00

$10,100.19

Yes - Certificate Sold 9/30/09

Tax Certificate Sold for $11,621.32

2009

$733,898.00

$10,684.97

Yes - Certificate Sold 7/20/10

Tax Certificate Sold for $12,175.80

2010

$727,130.00

$10,426.47

No

Paid

$10,426.47

2011

$667,495.00

$9,377.77

No

Paid

$9,377.77

[Bay County Tax Collector, 1112 Ohio Ave., 1999-2011]  

Property Tax Payment History for 25 1 15 OR 275 P 319 LOT  – Assessor #00000000-00-4155-0345

Owned by Machriste, Inc., the property taxes on this lot were paid late at least twice. [Washington County Tax Collector, Assessor #00000000-00-4155-0345, 3/01/12] 

25 1 15 OR 275 P 319 LOT 45 SEMINOLE PLANTATION BLK 6 – Assessor #00000000-00-4155-0345

Year

Fair Market Value

Taxes

Note

Late

Resolution

2008

-

-

-

Yes

Paid $301.55

2009

-

-

-

Yes

Paid $301.10

2010

-

-

-

No

-

2011

$15,000.00

$254.80

-

No

-

[Washington County Tax Collector, Assessor #00000000-00-4155-0345, 3/01/12]

Property Tax Payment History for 25 1 15 OR 275 P 319 LOT 46 SEMINOLE PLANTATION BLK 6 – Assessor #00000000-00-4155-0346

Owned by Machriste, Inc., the property taxes on this lot were paid late at least twice. [Washington County Tax Collector, Assessor #00000000-00-4155-0346, 3/01/12]

25 1 15 OR 275 P 319 LOT 46 SEMINOLE PLANTATION BLK 6 – Assessor #00000000-00-4155-0346

Year

Fair Market Value

Taxes

Note

Late

Resolution

2008

-

-

-

Yes

Paid $301.55

2009

-

-

-

Yes

Paid $301.10

2010

-

-

-

No

-

2011

$15,000.00

$254.80

-

No

-

[Washington County Tax Collector, Assessor #00000000-00-4155-0346, 3/01/12]

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