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Last updated on Tuesday, May 13, 2014
(UNDATED) - Ninth District U.S. Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., paid $5,300 in back taxes after it was discovered that he wrongly claimed a homestead credit, which both the congressman’s office and the Monroe County auditor say was an honest mistake.
Last month, a CNN investigation found that at least eight members of the House Committee on Ways and Means - which is responsible for writing tax law - had faced some sort of tax problem, including Young.
According to a CNN report released over the weekend, Young claimed a house in Bloomington was his primary residence and deducted more than $200,000 from his property taxes - saving himself almost $5,000. However, Young was renting the property to others, not living in it himself.
The homestead credit, which Young claimed, can only be used for a homeowner's primary property. He did not stop claiming the credit when he moved from the house in 2011.
Last month, the Monroe County auditor notified the second-term congressman that he owed about $5,300 in back taxes and penalties, which Young paid April 14, records show, according to CNN.
It's not the first time Young has had tax problems, according to CNN. It reported last month that Young paid $1,500 in penalties for late payments for his property taxes between 2007 and 2011.
Monroe County Treasurer Catherine Smith told CNN that when Young was in her office in 2012 (paying $4,000 for 2011's back taxes), she gave him the opportunity to update his records and remove the homestead deduction from the property, but he didn't.
"It's homestead fraud. He knew the state law," the Smith said in the CNN report. "A man that makes (a salary) from tax money should be held accountable for his own taxes."
Smith was already frustrated that the check Young used to pay the $4,000 in back taxes bounced, leading the treasurer to complain that Young's problems have "created serious complications for our office."
"It's embarrassing that Rep. Young doesn't follow state tax laws when he is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes tax law," said Bill Bailey, the Democratic nominee for the 9th same rules they have to follow."
Bailey, a former state representative who served on the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee, added "It sets a poor example for 9th seem to understand such a basic concept of paying his taxes and paying them on time. How can we trust him to use taxpayers' hard-earned money appropriately?"
Young said he took responsibility to ensure the errors would not happen again.
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