Investigative Group

Dem House Candidate Who Opposes Tax Loopholes Once Fined For Failing To Pay Her Own Taxes

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter
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A Democrat running for Congress in upstate New York who has criticized President Donald Trump’s tax cuts for leaving loopholes for the wealthy was penalized in 2013 for failing to pay her taxes, according to documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Dana Balter, who is seeking to unseat Republican incumbent Rep. John Katko of Syracuse in November’s midterm elections, was issued a tax lien by the state of Florida in January 2013 for failing to pay $1,832 in sales taxes due by her business, Dana Balter Designs.

Public records indicate that Balter lived in Florida prior to relocating to upstate New York.

Balter later paid her taxes, according to a Florida Department of Revenue document filed in March 2013 — two months after the state issued the lien.

Balter’s campaign platform calls for closing tax loopholes to ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share, and she’s been highly critical of the 2017 Republican tax bill on the campaign trail.

“We have to start by repealing the recent irresponsible tax bill and making sure that the wealthiest people and corporations are paying their fair share,” the Democrat told The Post-Standard in August. “To that end, we need to close tax loopholes for corporations. Right now, our wealthiest corporations are paying lower tax rates than most hardworking Americans; some of the largest pay no income tax at all.”

National Democrats threw their weight behind Balter after she won New York’s 24th Congressional District primary in late June. Democrats believe the district, which voted for Hillary Clinton by a slight margin in 2016, can be seized.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in August added Balter to their “Red to Blue” program, an initiative reserved for the Democratic candidates most likely to beat their Republican opponents to help flip control of the House after the November elections.

Balter has also received a number of endorsements from progressive groups, including the Bernie Sanders-linked group Our Revolution and EMILY’s List. She also secured financial support from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who contributed $2,700 to her campaign in July. (RELATED: MSNBC Panel Mocks Andrew Cuomo For Saying America Was ‘Never Really Great’)

While national Democrats believe Balter has a shot of flipping her district, Republicans are confident that their incumbent can keep his seat. Katko, who has been serving in the House since 2014, defeated both of his Democratic opponents by at least 20 points.

Balter did not return a request for comment.

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