Kuster: ‘No excuse’ for years of late property-tax payments
U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster said yesterday she has “no excuse” and no “grand explanation” for why she’s paid her property taxes late for the last three years.
“We got behind a couple times, and the reality is that we fell behind. There’s no excuse for it,” the Democrat told WMUR. “And I don’t have an excuse. I don’t want to come up with some grand explanation. The reality is that I take responsibility for it. I can’t change what happened, but what I can do is make sure that the taxes are paid in full, and they are, and I paid with interest.”
Kuster’s comments came a week after the Manchester television station reported she and her husband have paid the property taxes on their Hopkinton home late since 2010. They paid the balance owed last Tuesday, along with back taxes on a property in Jackson.
That day, Kuster issued a four-sentence statement apologizing “for any inconvenience.” A day later, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley defended Kuster in a statement that “when Congresswoman Kuster became aware of her small back tax bill, she immediately paid it in full.”
Republicans continued to criticize Kuster on the issue yesterday.
“Congresswoman Kuster’s inability to explain herself further damages her credibility and raises even more questions that demand immediate answers,” said Meg Stone, spokeswoman for the New Hampshire Republican Party, in a statement last night. “The people of the 2nd District deserve to know why, at a time when Annie Kuster is trying to raise their taxes, she hasn’t been paying her own.”
Earlier in the day, the National Republican Congressional Committee released a 30-second web ad, “Kuster’s Rules,” with an announcer saying it “looks like it’s already time to cancel the ‘Annie Kuster Show.’ ”
After news of Kuster’s late tax payments broke last week, two Republicans announced they’re thinking about running against her in 2014: former Nashua state senator Gary Lambert and Mont Vernon Rep. Bill O’Brien, the former state House speaker.
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)