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U.S. Rep. Kuster pays late taxes for Hopkinton home, apologizes 'for any inconvenience’

Democratic candidate for Congress to represent New Hampshire's second district, Ann McLane Kuster speaks during an editorial review board at the Concord Monitor onWednesday, August 18, 2010.

(Katie Barnes/Monitor Staff)

Democratic candidate for Congress to represent New Hampshire's second district, Ann McLane Kuster speaks during an editorial review board at the Concord Monitor onWednesday, August 18, 2010. (Katie Barnes/Monitor Staff)

For several years, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster has been late paying the property taxes on her Hopkinton home, according to town records.

Back taxes and interest totaling $7,168 on the Gould Hill Road home owned by Kuster and her husband, Brad, were paid yesterday, a day after WMUR-TV first reported she owed money.

“They are totally paid as of today,” said Chuck Gangel, Hopkinton’s town clerk and tax collector.

Kuster, a Democrat, ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2010 before winning the 2nd District seat in November against Republican incumbent Charlie Bass.

According to Hopkinton records, the taxes on the Kusters’ home have been paid late and with interest since at least 2011. Gangel declined to provide earlier records; WMUR reported the late payments began in 2010.

A tax bill due July 1, 2011, was paid in September of that year. A tax bill due Dec. 1, 2011, was paid in January 2012. Taxes due July 2 and Dec. 31 last year were paid last month and yesterday. Those four bills came to $27,737, including $769 in interest payments.

Kuster offered no explanation yesterday for why the payments were late. She issued a terse statement saying the bills were being paid.

“I regret the delay and apologize for any inconvenience. All future tax payments will be delivered promptly,” she said.

WMUR also reported Monday that Kuster didn’t pay two tax bills for 2012 on a property in the White Mountains town of Jackson, where she owed $3,852.

“Payment for our rental property in Jackson is en route,” Kuster said.

Annie Kuster was a lobbyist and attorney with Rath, Young and Pignitelli, and in 2011 she launched a consulting firm for nonprofit groups, Newfound Strategies. Brad Kuster also is a lawyer and formerly worked at the Conservation Law Foundation.

The Kusters’ Hopkinton home sits on 5.7 acres, and the property has a total assessed value of $483,900. The Jackson property is valued between $250,000 and $500,000, according to a financial disclosure form filed by Kuster last year.

Republicans blasted Kuster for the unpaid bills.

“This is disgusting,” said Nat Sillin, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, in a statement. “Millionaire Ann Kuster wants to raise taxes on Granite State families, but she doesn’t even pay her own. How can Kuster be trusted to make the rules if she won’t even follow them herself?”

The New Hampshire Republican Party said in a statement that Kuster “owes her constituents an honest explanation” about the unpaid taxes and “why she finally decided to pay her fair share of taxes only after the media started asking her questions about her long history of missed payments.”

The statement was issued in the name of party spokeswoman Meg Stone, not Chairwoman Jennifer Horn, who had a lien for unpaid federal taxes placed against her Nashua home in 2011. Horn said last month that she and her husband “have been working with the IRS to resolve this matter as quickly as possible.”

David Hurst, chairman of the New Hampshire Young Republicans, called on Kuster to resign.

“Congresswoman Kuster needs to get her own family’s financial house in order before setting national financial policy,” Hurst said in a release.

Kuster’s spokesman, Rob Friedlander, declined to comment beyond Kuster’s four-sentence statement.

But Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, accused the GOP of hypocrisy.

“One would think that last thing Jennifer Horn’s employees would be doing is to bring up unpaid taxes,” Buckley said in a statement. “Unlike the case with Jennifer, the Kusters have sent full payment to both towns. How much does the newly installed Republican state chair still owe on her taxes?”

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
bleubsdorf@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

Legacy Comments12

The question begs......would the taxes have been paid on that day if WMUR had not picked up on the story? I would say no. I can tell you that her yearly taxes must be close to $15,000, but, honestly, that is a drop in the bucket compared to her estimated net worth. My guess is that she would have let it go longer if it had not been reported.

Much ado about nothing.

Maybe she was waiting for the N.H. State Legislature to act on the N.H. Supreme Court opinion that the state-wide education school tax is un-constitutional. And if so, or not, of to file an Abatement application for such by the Friday, March 1st deadline. " See The "Notable Cases" and "Educational Funding" footnote over to: http://www.courts.state.nh.us/supreme/opinions/1997/school.htm " The majority holds today that the present system of taxation to provide funding to meet this constitutional duty violates part II, article 5 of the State Constitution, because it is not reasonable or proportional. " http://www.nh.gov/constitution/formofgov.html "

Seriously? Paying property taxes a month or two late is news? Seems to me that she had a lot going on over the past year -- might have been distracted.

You set the bar very low for politicians. She is involved with writing the very tax laws but continually forgets when they are due???

Sadly Jim, we seem to be setting the bar very low for everything these days. We have sunk so low, that when we actually get good service from anybody we are surprised, grateful and think we have won the lottery. I did read about WA and how many pols there have not paid their taxes. Also read that federal employees owe over a billion dollars in unpaid taxes. We let everybody off the hook it seems. Getting to be epidemic. The new norm in America these days is excuses for bad behavior. Never anybody's fault. Always a made up excuse. And out front we have many of our leaders coming up with lame excuses. Nobody is held accountable.

Exactly Jim!

Obviously Veritas you have looked into your book of Excuses for Dummies. Too busy and distracted. Reminds me of Geithner. Turbo Tax Made Him Do It!

Well Well, another Pol who believes that they are not like us, so they do not have to follow the rules. They get special perks for being Pols that us mere mortals do not have access to. Curious though, that the tax bill was paid the day after the story broke. I guess some folks have to be forced to pay their taxes by the media. I actually do not care if she paid her taxes or if Horn did. I expect all Pols to be corrupt, sleazy and hypocrites.

What the heck was she thinking!? Maybe she wasn't!

Well, well, well, the Monitor gets scooped in their own back yard, how embarrassing. Monitor readers should know by now that the Monitor doesn't do investigatory reporting on democrats they only reserve conservatives and Republicans. What a surprise a tax and spend liberal like Kuster expects other to pay taxes but not her.

This is just the tip of the Iceberg! Stay tuned!!! As they say, Just follow the money.

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