Terrence Wall has avoided state income taxes

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According to Wispolitics, U.S. Senate candidate Terrence Wall has not paid his state income taxes in four out of the last five years.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Terrence Wall paid no personal state income taxes in four of the past five years, according to figures obtained from the state Department of Revenue.

From 2004 to 2008, Wall, a real estate developer who lives in the Madison enclave of Maple Bluff, only had a state personal income tax liability in 2005, when he paid $43,520, according to DOR records. That one-year amount was more than Wall’s GOP primary opponent David Westlake of Watertown and Dem U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold of Middleton each personally paid in total state personal income taxes over the five-year period.

It’s always hard to tell how important a story like this will turn out to be in a campaign, but I will say that this attack would be more effective than usual coming from Feingold, who has not only made a name for himself as a champion of ethics, but is the poorest member of the U.S. Senate.

Granted, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is some explanation from Wall. He’s an incredibly rich dude –– there’s little reason for him to deliberately avoid income taxes, especially if he’s been politically ambitious for a while. I would also watch out for the fact that he apparently has paid them in one of the past five years, which indicates that the failure to pay in the other years was likely more of a mistake than a deliberate abuse of the system.

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8 Responses to “Terrence Wall has avoided state income taxes”

  1. Paul A. Says:

    All the same, Jack. How does one forget to file taxes for four years? It’ll come back to hurt him (politically and legally) if he can’t come up with a good excuse. “I forgot” is never a good excuse.

  2. Zach W. Says:

    Yeah, I find it hard to believe this was an “honest mistake;” it’s kinda hard to forget to pay your taxes.

  3. Terrence Wall hasn’t paid income taxes four of last five years! « Pretty Important Politics Says:

    […] mercury is sure to be rising in Blogging Blue’s Terrence Wall Tax Loophole Tracker. The Sconz and Josh Orton have more. Haas414 too. Nothing out of the papers yet, they must kick off early on […]

  4. Ordinary Jill Says:

    The article didn’t say that he didn’t file a tax return in those years. It said that he had no personal income tax liability, meaning he found enough deductions to avoid owing income tax. The most likely explanation is that he sold off some investments that tanked (either stocks or real estate bought at the height of the bubble) and realized sufficient capital losses to offset his income for those years. So there was no sloppiness or tax evasion involved, just shrewd maneuvering.

    He reminds me of the late, unlamented Leona Helmsley, who famously said “Only the little people pay taxes.”

  5. Todd Stevens Says:

    I wouldn’t exactly describe Feingold as the “poorest” member of the U.S. senate, I believe even Feingold himself prefers “least wealthy.” Granted, this really doesn’t affect your point at all and is arguing semantics at it’s most irrelevant, but I have a habit of doing that.

  6. Irish Frog Says:

    I doubt very much that Wall broke the law. He’s stupid, but he’s not stupid, you know. But I don’t think this will play well, since pretty much every voter pays income taxes, and the oligarchy-tea-bagging people have been making so much noise. Maybe Feingold isn’t the poorest, but he’s way near the bottom:

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pfds/overview.php?type=W&year=2008&filter=S&sort=A

    Interestingly, Herb is the richest. I knew he was rolling in money, but to be at the top of that list is impressive.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Jack, You are a low life trouble making liberal jack ass with one apparent purpose in doing this article. Anybody worth his salt uses an accountant to AVOID paying income taxes when that is logical. So what?

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