Jim Lawrence, Republican candidate for Congress, behind on his Hudson taxes 

  • Lawrence

Monitor staff
Published: 10/18/2016 3:43:08 PM

Jim Lawrence, a Republican running for the 2nd Congressional District seat in part on his business savvy, hasn’t paid property taxes on his Hudson home since 2013.

Lawrence last made good on his taxes Nov. 25, 2013. A year and a half later, on April 3, 2015, he wrote a check for $5,313.80 to pay his taxes for 2014 – but that check bounced, tax records show.

A lien was placed on his home May 1, 2015. His outstanding delinquent tax bill stands at $15,614.90. The property at 18 Old Coach Road is valued at $289,100, according to town tax records.

This isn’t the first time a candidate for this congressional seat has been behind on taxes. Lawrence’s opponent in the race, incumbent U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat from Hopkinton, was regularly late on her property taxes in both Hopkinton and Jackson, according to a 2013 WMUR report. Kuster announced the day following the TV station’s report that her taxes – with interest – had been paid in full.

Clerks in both Hopkinton and Jackson reported Tuesday that the Kusters were up to date on all property tax payments.

New Hampshire Public Radio reported Monday on Lawrence’s business record with Lawrence Battelle Inc., the security consulting firm he founded in 2003 and often mentions on the campaign trail.

“Fifteen years ago, I founded a small consulting firm that specializes in streamlining the federal government. I am proud of what we have accomplished: saving the taxpayers millions of dollars by eliminating waste, improving efficiency, and providing better services,” reads Lawrence’s bio on his campaign website.

But NHPR reported being unable to find any record of Lawrence Battelle doing business with the federal government in public databases.

NHPR also noted the firm had been evicted from its Nashua office in 2013, and a lawsuit was brought by the company in 2012 against the federal government, claiming it had been unfairly excluded from a bidding process. A judge dismissed the suit.

Lawrence responded to the story Tuesday morning in a meeting with the Union Leader editorial board.

“Obviously, they didn’t look hard enough,” he said about the radio station, adding that perhaps his company had not appeared in the databases they had searched because Lawrence Battelle did sub-contract work.

Lawrence has said he stepped away from the company in 2014 to focus on his first congressional run, but he defended its record while he was in charge.

“Our revenues, while I was at the helm of the company – it was, it was seven figures,” he said.

Lawrence told the Union Leader he had taken some time off after his last run for Congress. Pressed about how he was supporting his family, Lawrence referred to “investments.”

“I did do well with Lawrence Battelle. I did make some investments and you know my family income is quite sufficient. Always has been,” he said.

Lawrence’s campaign spokeswoman, Jen Battelle, did not respond to an email request for comment sent at 12:36 p.m. Tuesday. Earlier in the day, the campaign announced a 24-hour suspension of activities starting at 4 p.m. due to the death of a staffer’s child.

Lawrence defeated state Rep. Jack Flanagan in the Republican primary.

(Lola Duffort can be reached at 369-3321 or lduffort@cmonitor.com.)

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