Ocasio-Cortez sees fines for unpaid tax warrant increase

New York Democrat says she is contesting the tax bill on her now-defunct business.

Updated: July 7, 2022 - 1:09pm

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Fines have been piling up for Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over a neglected tax warrant that was filed against her now-defunct business five years ago, according to a recent news report.

Ocasio-Cortez's home state of New York filed a warrant in 2017 against Brook Avenue Press, a child-focused publishing house founded by the now-congresswoman in 2012, to collect $1,618 in unpaid corporate taxes, according to the report by the Washington Examiner.

Because the two-term House member has not paid any of the taxes, the balance has now increased by more than 50%, to $2,461.

The warrant was filed against the shuttered business about two months after Ocasio-Cortez launched her first congressional campaign in 2017 against then-incumbent New York Democrat Rep. Joe Crowley. She took office in 2018.

Ocasio-Cortez's office told the New York Post several years ago that the congresswoman, among the House's most progressive members, learned of the warrant after she was sworn into Congress for the first time. 

Though Ocasio-Cortez initially said she would repay the tax bill, her office later said the warrant's issuance was an "error" that she was contesting.

"The congresswoman is still in the process of contesting the tax warrant," a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez told the Post in 2020. "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. As anyone who's tried to contest a tax bill in error knows, it takes time."

Ocasio-Cortez has become known for calling on Americans, particularly higher wage-earners, to pay higher taxes to fund progressive-minded proposals, including the proposed, multitrillion-dollar, alternative energy plan known as the Green New Deal.

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