Report: Ocasio-Cortez Owes $2,000 In Unpaid Taxes From Defunct Business Venture

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has repeatedly called for sweeping tax hikes on the rich, but she personally owes $2,000 in back taxes from a 7-year-old defunct business, according to The New York Post.

The freshman democrat founded a children’s book publishing house called Brook Avenue Press in 2012 that sought designers, artists, and writers from urban areas to help paint The Bronx in a positive way.

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According to public records, the state of New York dissolved the Democratic socialist congresswoman company in October 2016 after it found that she failed to pay corporate taxes or file a return. 

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Less than a year later, the state Tax Department filed a warrant on July 6, 2017, just two months after Ocasio-Cortez announced her candidacy to run against Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley for Congress. The warrant showed that the company founded by the democratic socialist owing the state $1,618.36 in unpaid corporate tax. News broke over the unpaid taxes prior to the coronavirus outbreak in March, with Ocasio-Cortez spokesperson saying they were looking into the matter and would pay it right away.

However, two months later the tax warrant had still not been satisfied, and the state Tax Department stated the outstanding balance, as of Friday has grown to $2,088.78.

A spokesperson for Ocasio-Cortez says the congresswoman is “contesting” the $2,088.78 tax warrant bill, calling the tax amount an “error” due to the extra fees.

“The congresswoman is still in the process of contesting the tax warrant. The business has been closed for several years now, and so we believe that the state Tax Department has continued to collect the franchise tax in error,” Lauren Hitt, Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman told the New York Post. “As anyone who’s tried to contest a tax bill in error knows, it takes time.”

Ocasio-Cortez is facing a tough primary next month against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, a former CNBC anchor for the 14th Congressional District covering portions of The Bronx and Queens. 

“She just thinks she’s better than everyone else. Clearly, she’s worse,” Hank Sheinkopf, spokesman for Caruso-Cabrera said. 

The publishing house was launched through a New York City-subsidized program designed to help small businesses in The Bronx. It was headquartered in an old converted factory in the Bronx where Ocasio-Cortez paid between $195 to $275 in monthly rent. However, the company failed to publish a book.