Looks like Sonny’s losing cover for his personal 100k tax break. Revenue Dept knows nothing. Who pushed the tax break? Sonny did!

Haven’t posted lately — been busy trying to find a sweetheart land deal in Florida, but I can’t get Stan Thomas to cut me in.   I have been checking the site — Will Warren’s work is great, even if I don’t agree with his perspective all of the time.

I’m sure everyone read Jay Bookman’s column in the AJC yesterday.  Looks like Sonny’s losing cover on his personal tax break.  The Department of Revenue didn’t ask for the tax cut to be pushed back an additional year, but Sonny did…

A few highlights…

The evidence is conclusive: In 2005, Georgia legislators quietly smuggled language into an otherwise routine tax bill that gave one particular Georgia taxpayer a special tax deferral worth more than $100,000. 

The taxpayer in question was Gov. Sonny Perdue, the man who signed the bill into law on April 12, 2005, and shortly thereafter signed his state tax return taking advantage of that special legislation. 

That chain of events represents a serious abuse of public power for private gain, and the victims of that abuse were Georgia taxpayers. 

Then things got interesting. 

On March 22, HB 488 was mysteriously recommitted to the Finance Committee, then chaired by Sen. Casey Cagle (R-Gainesville). Back in committee, only one seemingly minor change was made to the bill — changes affecting capital gains taxes from the sale of property were suddenly made retroactive all the way back to Jan. 1, 2004, more than a year earlier. Although only a few knew it at the time, that minor change meant big money for Perdue, whose land transactions now fell under the new law. 

Cagle, who has since become the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, said in an interview Tuesday that the Department of Revenue had requested the change making those provisions retroactive. 

However, that is contradicted by Graham, who says his department made no such request. 

“I was just informed that the bill was going to change,” Graham told me, stressing that he neither opposed nor requested the change. 

In the end, the only provisions of the 24-page, 27-section bill retroactive to Jan. 1, 2004, were the two provisions needed to let Perdue defer more than $100,000 in state taxes. 

This is all from the AJC, 8/31/06.

Stay tuned…..Wonder if Casey is going to get dragged down with this too?

41 comments

  1. rugby_fan says:

    Frankly Mr. Kahn, you are making quite a stir over something that will not move any more than about 50 voters.

  2. stephaniemills21 says:

    Kind of reminds me of that time two years ago when Sonny tried to get a provision put into the ethics bill that would have absolved him of his ethics violations. See, at the time, Sonny and his minions claimed to know nothing about it. Well, a few days later it was learned that they were the ones requesting it.

    Seems Sonny has a hard time telling the truth.

  3. rightofcenter says:

    Bobby,
    With your laser like focus on this issue, is it any wonder that you’ve aided and abetted the Democratic free-for-all over the last decade? What a joke.

    By the way – to know how much tax deferral the governor got on this, someone would have to know his basis in the land he inherited. And also, if he’s going to make the “killing” on the sweetheart deal in Florida that you harp on, he’ll have to pay the taxes then.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Ahhh yes – and the games continue.

    Mr. Cagle’s motives should be investigated. Also up for discussion is Newt Gingrich, who aspires to the office of the President of the United States.

    I attended the March 5, 2003 Capstone Address, in which Newt said the
    following:

    “Men: prepare your troops. The United States will invade Iraq in two to two
    and a half weeks.”

    The room full of officers erupted into utter chaos. After numerous objections, shouting questions at Newt; Newt said this:

    “Just know that you ARE going in 2 – 2.5 weeks. Everything will be in place: get your affairs in order.”

    Facial expressions of disbelief, frustration, and anger are etched in my mind.
    The subtle weeping from teary spouses . . .

    But the most damning thing Newt said was this:

    “When the public asks why we are going to Iraq, tell them we are going to liberate the Iraqi people. USE the word LIBERATE.”

    I turned to my date, an admiral:

    “How would HE know this” Shouldn’t information of this caliber (a declaration of war) be disseminated by Bush or Rumsfeld? What’s happening?”

    I LEARNED that answer a year later: Office of Special Plans – comprised of AEI neo-cons and Pentagon officials who colluded to falsify pre-war intelligence reports: namely the Niger “yellowcake” report. Hence, Wilson fought their corruption by becoming a moral obstacle. To thwart Wilson, this Republican led administration released Plame’s name, knowing it would create a crisis situation for the Wilson family.

    I have spoken with ex-CIA counter-terror experts, Ret. Generals, Robert Dreyfuss, Mel Goodman, and Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (who was present at the secret meetings in the Pentagon).

    This man is seeking the Office of the President of the United States – he is clearly a man of brilliant intellect who has succumbed to his ego centric fantasies.

    Let me ask you this:

    IF another country invaded our shores, bombing the hell out of our country: killing thousands upon thousands in their wake to access a natural resource that our country has; and their country lacks – in an effort to stabilize their economy: how would we respond?

    DON’T be fooled by the Republican marketing machine. This brand of “Compas-sionate Conservatives” is toxic to your health and to the welfare of this country.
    To wrap failed, corrupt policy in religious rhetoric is sacreligous. This Republican led Congress utilizes religion as a “storefront booth”, laundering money to ensure that their flock follows.

    How can they be so blind?

    TRUTH is the lens that creates vision.
    LIES distort vision.

  5. columbus06 says:

    Mr. Kahn, are you implying that Mark Taylor is more ethical than Sonny? I’d like to hear more on this point, rather than good old fashioned mud slinging. Otherwise, people will just get turned off and not vote at all, which we can agree is not the way to run a democracy.

    Is Sonny the only person that benefitted from the tax break? Was the 100,000 only on the State level- or the Federal level that Sonny does not control? How does Sonny’s father’s death coincide with the dates? Otherwise this is nothing but rhetoric.

    We’re getting into what each of our parties stands for- more taxes versus less taxes. Mr. Kahn do you not feel that good, hard working people should get tax breaks, like Sonny did? Or is it better to be raked over the coals as we have been through the federal system for so many years (no thanks to either party on that, really). Please advise.

  6. RandyMiller says:

    What Mr. Kahn (or whoever) posted here is cutting/pasting a column by…
    you guessed it, leftist spinmeister Jay Bookman. Birds of a feather, my friends.
    Seeing how the work was Bookman’s, it has to be taken with a grain of salt, and a pretty big one.

  7. RiverRat says:

    Ah, columbus06, I just want to point out a problem with your chain of thought. Several, actually. First, wtf are you talking about Sonny’s father? Second, Democrats believe that hard working people should get tax breaks – thats why Mark Taylor sponsored the largest tax cut in Georgia history, the grocery sales tax, which helps working folk more than anyone else. What the GOP and Sonny’s tax break does is reward people who abuse their office to get cut into land deals. Hardly does much for hard working people does it? I mean, aside from all those blue collar folk who routinely sell millions of dollars worth of land in Georgia and reinvest it in other states – just your regular hard days work for the average joe…

  8. columbus06 says:

    It certainly appears that way Randy. Here is the link: http://www.ajc.com/search/content/opinion/bookman/index.html. This was for a tax deferral, after all, it was not a tax deduction, so as pointed out above he still must pay taxes on the thing.

    The article also interestingly points out, not surprisingly omitted by Mr. Kahn above, that Georgia was the ONLY state that had the requirement that the land in question be in state, the new law simply changed that.

    Lastly, there is no indication that Sonny had anything to do with making it retroactive! My goodness, who wouldn’t have signed the bill- is the man going to just start gifting all his money to the government? Get real.

  9. dingleberry says:

    Notice:

    Bobby didn’t bother posting a link to any of the information. He just picks out select quotes that make his pathetic argument somewhat plausible. Nevermind that the rest of the article actually refutes his claims. Hooray for yellow journalism!

  10. atlantaman says:

    Well since Sonny isn’t the King and there are two houses of the Legislature who have to sign-off on tax bills, I think it’s going to be very difficult to prove that Sonny somehow engineered this for his own benefit. If I’m not mistaken, were there not some Democrats who voted for the bill as well?

  11. LINDA says:

    A tax deferral means that the governor received something akin to a Section 1031 Exchange that the IRS offers pushed through the State of Georgia. So long as the gain is involved in such a like kind exchange, taxes may be pushed forward indefinitely. Take the $100 k and divide it by 6% at a minimum tax rate to get the gain! I think that this action is deplorable, and it is too darn bad that no one supported a candidate to challenge Perdue in the Primary. You people that are mindless Republicans that would support Gotti himself, so long he were on your team are the ones that are sick! It is too bad that we have no choice for honest government in this state!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. columbus06 says:

    Linda, I don’t need to say anything else other than that Ralph Reed and Bill Stephens lost- there are reasons for that that you may choose to look into before you begin your speechifying.

    What do you think Sonny should have done with this bill that was passed by the Legislature- Republicans and Democracts? Refuse to sign it because it might affect him personally? Bring in a Special Governor from out of state to determine what should be done?

    The fact that this bill was debated and voted on is hidden in the rhetoric above- the language was “smuggled” in by republicans? Are you trying to tell me that the no Democrat went so far as to read the very bill they voted on? That should be the Democrats motto this cycle- “Don’t blame us, we don’t do our job.” Or could it be that they felt it to be a reasonable change, and Sonny had no reason to veto it?

  13. kspencer says:

    Columbus06, I’d agree if it weren’t for a tiny allegation.

    That being that the governor’s office is the one that requested the clause be added.

    Notice I said allegation. I treat almost all “news” posts on here as campaign articles – that is, slanted heavily in favor of or against a politician or party. That is even more so when the poster is a known politician or political activist (aka most of the list). As an allegation it may turn out to be nothing, or sorta true but the parts that aren’t included really make a difference, or, well, it could actually be that the real deal is even worse than it appears on the surface. I’ve seen all of those happen to allegations on this list. And so I’ll wait till I get some independent news in any direction about it.

    I know the bill was resubmitted from the rules committee to the finance committee (as were several others – rule 33.7). The change apparently happened between when the finance committee first approved it and it was returned for reconsideration. I would have expected committee members to ask at least what was changed and why. On the other hand I’ve learned that the obvious questions sometimes don’t get asked – by either party – for reasons good and bad.

    That said… it is not a little annoying to me how often BOTH parties – at the federal as well as state levels – are caught saying something to the effect of, “I didn’t know THAT was going to happen” in regard to a bill they’ve approved. I don’t have a good solution, but I do recognize the problem.

    Guys and gals on both sides of the aisle in both houses – please be better at this.

  14. Mad Dog says:

    All the more reason for blind trusts?

    I like the question about will it take Cagle down, too?

    Who will be Sonny’s whipping dog if not Cagle?

    Plausible deniability.

  15. Mad Dog says:

    Kahn did say “defer taxes” … didn’t he?

    But, indefinitive deferments are the same as not paying them, isn’t it?

    “I’d rather owe you than beat you out of your money…”

  16. Shady Republicans writing tax laws for their own benefit?

    I’m absolutely shocked, shocked!

    It can’t be true, just more Lib’rul lies from the drive-by media!

    Funniest thing is the story doesn’t make a damn but of difference . . . Sheeple in this state will line up & vote GOP no matter what.

  17. Paul from Jefferson says:

    It seems to me that the “shady Republicans” are just following in Democratic practices for the century and more that they controlled all branches of government in Georgia. This is the “proud” tradition in which Bobby Kahn stands and continually defends. He has a convenient amnesia about that history and, of course, his party’s long support for and implementation of all sorts of white preferences and real Black voter suppression.

  18. columbus06 says:

    Isn’t it funny that despite all these ravings by Taylor supporters, noone has answered the challenge above to discuss how Taylor is any more ethical than Sonny, assuming that Sonny had a role in this? Pot calling the kettle black, unless you’re going to vote libertarian.

  19. atlantaman says:

    I think Kahn and Taylor are going to have a difficult time making hay out of this issue when the majority of Dems voted for it.

  20. kspencer says:

    Atlantaman, not necessarily. The bill had this ‘one little change’ and was given back to the committee for review and passage. Normally – as I understand it, anyway – little changes like that are to correct typos. Changing substance is supposed to be a bit different.

    There are too many unanswered questions for me to feel comfortable making accusations. But to arbitrarily dismiss it without answering those questions is equally wrong in my view.

    Was a “fix the typos” rule used to slip a substantive change through? And while we’re at it, is this typical for either/both sides?

    Kirk

  21. Bill Simon says:

    Stephanie,

    So, IF our shores invaded by marauders, and overwhelmed our police and national defense forces, would you and your other Liberal friends then consider the possibility that “Gee, it sure would be nice if I had a gun to defend myself…”?

  22. Bill Simon says:

    [Correction]

    Stephanie,

    So, IF our shores were invaded by marauders, who overwhelmed our police and national defense forces, would you and your other Liberal friends then consider the possibility that “Gee, it sure would be nice if I had a gun to defend myself…”?

  23. rightofcenter says:

    Linda,
    It’s not kind of like a 1031 exchange…..it IS a 1031 exchange. And to figure out the amount of the tax deferred, you would have to know the basis that Perdue had in the land he sold. Price minus basis equals capital gain, taxed at 15% for federal and 6% for state. By the way, his basis in the inherited land would have “stepped up” to market value at the time he inherited it. So this speculation about how much tax was deferred is totally blue sky stuff unless someone knows the basis.

  24. LINDA says:

    If you know that he deferred at least $100 k in taxes, then take $100 k and divide it by 6% to get the gain! I do know it is a 1031 exchange btw ROC. Since, I have been a CPA now for nearly 2 decades, but thanks for the attempt to teach me!

  25. LINDA says:

    For all of the young guns out there, this is exactly why you do not need to elimate the estate taxes! Without those stepped up basis rules, those that inherit our property after death would no doubt lose out! Estates that are exempt from estate taxes still can take advantage of these rules. So, when you hear the nonsense about eliminating the estate tax, remember that only a small percentage of our society have to pay it!

  26. LINDA says:

    What is so deplorable about all of this, is that I have had dealings with the Georgia Department of Revenue and the Georgia Department of Labor where they write threatening letters and make threatening phone calls over tax bills to avarage Joes! And I am talking about tax bills sometimes less than $100! Shame on the Governor and shame on the legislatures that pass bills to benefit the priviledged and short our treasury!

  27. Mad Dog says:

    Bill,

    Way back in time when I was a knight in shining armor, women were given knives.

    Not for defense, so they could kill themselves rather than face rape.

    For example, the knife hidden in the bodice was called the bodkin. Well, I think it was. My armor is kind of rusty and my memory …

    MD

  28. rightofcenter says:

    Linda,
    You missed my point. How do we know that the deferred tax was $100,000? It shows up in the some news story and then everyone assumes it’s the gospel. It’s not a figure that can be derived from public information. So who came up with that $100,000 figure? Bobby Kahn?

  29. Bill Simon says:

    MD…that’s nice info to know…but I’d rather have the opportunity to FIGHT for my life rather than lie down and commit suicide before someone takes it.

    You Libbies certainly HAVE been raised quite differently from those of us from conservative homes.

  30. LINDA says:

    Well is not the Governor’s tax return required to be available for the public? A deferred gain most certainly must be reported, and we most certainly have the right to know just how much a Governor benefited by tax laws passed that favored him. I have not got anything in the mail from the State that shows the tax change! As a CPA and tax professional, don’t you think that I have the right to know about new tax law changes, as do other tax preparers? I don’t care what Bobby kahn has to say about it or anyone, i am a Republican and I care because ethics should be adhered! Right of Center, surely you are not so hell bent on your politcis that you could care less about what goes on in our State legislature. It is just like the eminent domain fiasco that was going on with these greedy conservatives that occupy the highest offices in this state. It is time to weed out the corruptness!

  31. LINDA says:

    When I received my CPA certificate, I was required to hold my right hand up and swear to uphold the State Constitution of Georgia and to be above reproach in both independence and public appearance. And that is the very same oath that Governors and other elected officials take, and how about drawing a line in the sand with partisan politics and call a spade a spade? I don’t care if you are a Democrat or a Republican if you abuse your power, then you need to go!

  32. Philly says:

    Linda, I see you are attacking Perdue for his part in it but giving co-conspirator Cagle a pass in the whole deal. Perdue and Cagle are both arrogant, greedy politicians. That is why they make this kind of backdoor deals. Because they are arrogant enough to think they can get away with it.

    Cagle has been caught in a lie, yet again. IE: Taylor contribution. I can’t wait until Martin starts blasting Cagle. Martin will cause some Republicans to doubt Cagle. There are already disgruntled Reed supporters that Buckley is pursuing. Buckley should also go after Republicans that will be doubtful of Cagle after the Martin attacks. Die hard Republicans will be much more likely to vote for a Libertarian than a Democrat.

    The Lt. Governor’s office has no real power anyway. Just a stepping stone.

    I am voting for the Libertarian for Lt. Governor. Buckely could siphon enough votes from Cagle to cost him the election. Jim Martin should be quitely helping Buckley behind the scenes. Buckley will take votes away from Cagle not Martin.

  33. rightofcenter says:

    Linda,
    Well, no, the governor’s tax return is not required to be made public. So I ask again, where did the information come from? And by the way, I’m against corruption whereever it rears its head, but I’m not swayed by partisan charges of corruption where none exist.

    By the way, I don’t think I would go around advertising that I’m ignorant of the current tax laws if I were a CPA.

  34. LINDA says:

    Well from what I understand, even the state was not aware that the tax law had been changed and made retroactive. And ROC, you can keep your attacks against me to yourself because if I had handled like kind exchanges for the 2005 tax year then I would have researched the tax code. I never do a return without looking up the new laws. I have not handled any 1031 exchanges, except traded in vehicles. You do not need to even go anywhere else with questioning my professionalism!

  35. LINDA says:

    And, if that is not the current law for the Governor’s tax return to be public record, then who is on board with me to pass a law to make it public record! Transparency is what we need in government, and surely you would agree with that ROC. I suppose you have your nose so far up the rear ends of those you are pulling for that you cannot see the lunacy of your protection of politicians.

  36. LINDA says:

    And ROC, did the tax code change?

    Was the tax code made retroactive?

    Did Governor Perdue benefit from the tax code change and the fact that is was made retroactive?

    The answer is no doubt yes to all of the above, so I don’t care if the Governor deferred a dollar of a hundred thousand dollars of taxes because it is still wrong! What part of that do you not get? A public official is supposed to hold themselves above reproach, higher than that standard that applies to the general public. if the appearance of a impropriety exists in the public’s eye, then you have failed in the office that you are sworn to uphold. Look up the code of office, if you don’t believe me.

Comments are closed.