by Chris Haire
Like many of you, I don't find paying income taxes the least bit pleasurable.
In fact, I'd rather have an itch right between my shoulder blades that I couldn't scratch than have to belly up to the bar at H&R Block.
Hell, I'd even go as far as to say that this furry dog would rather get a Brazilian wax than sit down for three frikkin hours filing out forms from Uncle Sam.
But each and every year, I do it. I hate it. But it gets done.
Apparently, that's not how things work at Exotica International, Nikki Haley's family business, you know the one where she's been the bookkeeper since she was 13 years old, according to a recent AP report. Here's what the AP said:
On the campaign trail, state GOP gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley frequently cites her experience as the accountant for her family's clothing store, saying she oversaw its growth to a multimillion dollar operation, and the state needs such skills.
But records obtained by The Associated Press show the family company has been penalized three times since 2003 for not paying taxes. In each case, the taxes were at least 19 months past due.
Two of the tax liens were for failing to pay corporate income taxes and one was for not turning over taxes withheld from employee checks. The company paid nearly $4,000 to remove them, with 43 percent covering penalties and interest. Credit records on the business show it frequently pays operating bills more than a month late, compared with an industry average of 10 days late.
Hmm. So let's see here. Nikki Haley wants you to vote for her because she's good with the books. But here's the rub:
One, she is not a certified public accountant.
Two, she and her husband have routinely paid their own income taxes late.
Three, the business where she serves as a bookkeeper routinely pays its taxes late.
Four, she failed to disclose $42,500 in income she received as a consultant for an engineering firm, which hired her because of her government connections.
Sounds like a winner.
The SC Democratic Party has jumped on this as well, crafting the following press release. The statement from Dem Chair Carol Fowler is lame (I can't imagine Karen Floyd penning something with so little bite), but the headline is crafty for sure:
Why Haley Wants to Repeal Corporate Tax: She Never Pays!
COLUMBIA— Mark Sanford's handpicked successor Nikki Haley found herself in the cross-hairs of South Carolina Democrats once again, after an Associated Press report revealed that the candidate's family business, Exotica International, was the subject of three tax liens since 2003.
On the campaign trail, Haley frequently cites her experience as the financial manager of Exotica. The report stated that records show the store's taxes were at least 19 months past due each time the state filed a lien. Two of the tax liens were for failing to pay corporate income taxes and one was for not turning over taxes withheld from employee checks. The company paid nearly $4,000 to remove the liens.
The AP also reported that liens are only placed 'only after long negotiations between the government and the business.'
South Carolina Democratic Party Chair Carol Fowler criticized Haley today, saying that "Nikki Haley has demonstrated once again that she is not fit for public office. Her family's business, where she has bragged about being the 'accountant,' repeatedly failed to pay its income taxes and kept money withheld for its employees' taxes for its own use. South Carolina deserves a governor we can trust."