The Savannah Morning News recently broke the story on Roy Barnes claiming a tax break he wasn’t entitled to take, according to the AP. This news is on the heels of the former Georgia governor taking pot shots at his campaign competitor and former U.S. House Rep Nathan Deal for much the same thing.
Cobb County property records revealed that Roy’s daughter and her husband were the listed owners of the Marietta home, given to them by Barnes in 2007. But Roy Barnes’ tax return reflected that it was he who took a deduction for the property at the expense of the taxpayers in the amount of $7,500 over a two year period.
Roy Barnes and his “accounting error”
Roy Barnes has campaigned from his high perch atop a mythical ethical horse that has now bucked the Georgia lawyer to the ground with a hard thump. Voters, and I number myself with them, are not too keen on hearing one man lecture another about his shortcomings when he has the same problem.
Barnes is now claiming his tax mistake was an “accounting error,” according to his campaign spokesman Emil Runge. And that is all well and good, if he hadn’t made much ado about Nathan Deal’s “accounting error.” But the fact of the matter is we have one man who has dirty laundry, of a sort, pointing out his competitors before cleaning up his own first.
Roy Barnes seeks to pocket $30,000 in exchange for his $7,500 “error”
To make matters worse, Roy Barnes isn’t just going to cough up what he owes the state of Georgia, fess up publicly, and take his political medicine.
No, Mr. Barnes is ever looking for a loophole in which to turn it to his favor. And his accountant has supposedly found it for him: another error was made on his 2008 tax return that should put $30,000 more state dollars in his pocket.
What is Roy’s accountant doing? Sleeping on the job? That’s two significant accounting errors in the past two years. One conveniently found in time to prevent Roy from paying a dime on the other one.
I don’t remember hearing anyone say that Nathan Deal tried to make money off of his losses–or reporting errors–from the state tax payers due to his generosity towards his daughter. But now we have Roy Barnes refusing to pay $7,500 in owed taxes without finding a way to put even more back into his pocket first.
Roy Barnes’ daughter now to receive same fate as Deal’s daughter?
Nathan Deal’s spokesman said, “We forgive Roy for his ‘accounting’ error,” but Brian Robinson wasn’t without sarcasm, since Roy has beat the “Nathan Deal tax return error” like a drum for weeks. And that isn’t even taking into consideration the terrible price Barnes exacted on Deal’s poor daughter.
I’ll bet Barnes doesn’t want his family having to deal with the media swooping down upon them to answer for their father and husband’s mistake. But that is what he deserves, since he was so callous towards Deal’s family.
Brian Robinson and Nathan Deal are well within their right to feel vindicated, politically–and to lobe a shot or two at Roy–as King Roy shouldn’t throw rocks when he lives in a glass house.
Barnes’ unwillingness to accept that Nathan could make a mistake on his return (and it not be a real federal case or ethical violation), has now earned him the same disbelief by his opponent and the voters for his taking a wrongful tax break. Roy Barnes wanted politics as usual and that’s what he got.
Resources: Personal opinion and, Shannon McCaffrey’s “Barnes got tax break for property he didn’t own,” Associated Press