Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Larry Krasner's A Tax Deadbeat But Inky Won't Report It

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

District Attorney Larry Krasner, the top law enforcement official in the city, hasn't paid his taxes.

According to Krasner's statement of financial interest filed with the city in 2018, the D.A. has a 40% ownership stake in Tiger Building LP,  which owns the former Princeton Club located at 1221-23 Locust Street. 

The historic landmark building has an assessed value of $3.8 million. It also has a current tax bill of  $53,168.60 that was due March 31st, but hasn't been paid. 

According to city property records posted online, as of April 23rd, the Tiger Building LLP owes $53,966 in property taxes plus interest. Neither Krasner nor Jane Roh, his official spokesperson, however, responded to a request for comment. 

Another mystery: The Philadelphia Inquirer knows that Larry Krasner is a tax deadbeat, but with the progressive D.A. facing a heated primary election on May 18th, the newspaper has so far declined to print the news about Krasner's overdue tax bill.

Why? Nobody from the newspaper is talking, but as Big Trial has previously reported, it appears to be just the latest example of Inky being in the tank for Larry Krasner.

Back in 2016, the year before Krasner ran for D.A., the owners of 1221 Locust had an unpaid tax bill of $130,809 in use and occupancy taxes owed the Philadelphia School District. That bill included $71,992 in taxes, a $24,900 fine, and $33,916 for a combined interest and penalty. 

In 2016, the building's owners negotiated that debt down to $89,0000 and entered into a payment plan with the city to pay off that debt. 

On April 22nd, a tipster wrote to Chris Brennan, the Inquirer political columnist who writes the paper's "Clout" column, about the D.A.'s unpaid taxes.

"I assume your Clout column is tomorrow," the tipster wrote. "If you don't write about this, I am not sure you can claim you are covering the DA's race."

"Krasner still owes tens of thousands from his original tax lien," the tipster wrote. "And now he has not paid his taxes that were due on 3/31/21." 

"We reported in 2018 that he is in a payment plan for these back taxes," Brennan wrote back the next day. "Looks like he [Krasner] has paid off $35,000 of an $89,000 bill since then."

That prompted the tipster to give the reporter a lecture about math.

"Respectfully, I don't think that is what that means," the tipster wrote back the same day, April 22nd. "The property tax rate is 1.3998% and the assessed value of the property is $3,798,300." 

"When you do the math, that is a tax bill for 2021 totaling $53,168.60," the tipster wrote. "That is the exact number reported on the website."

"The total on the screenshot is his 2021 tax bill of $53,966.13 which is $53,168.60 + $797.53 in accrued interest," the tipster wrote. "He has accrued interest because he is delinquent. The current records (and the screenshots) don't appear to have anything to do with his prior settlement agreement with the city."

The payment agreement "either refers to his prior payment plan from the lawsuit filed by the city, but more likely means that he [Krasner] has entered into a payment plan for his new delinquent taxes," the tipster wrote "If so, this is a major story. Obviously, one phone call to the City will confirm this, or prove otherwise."

The reporter recognized that this might be news.

"I agree it's worth looking into," Brennan wrote back. But then things went downhill between the political columnist and his source.

"I assume you have gotten a response by this point from one of your vast contacts in city government to confirm the tax delinquency," the tipster wrote back on April 26th, before launching into another lecture, this time about ethics in journalism. 

"Is the Inquirer going to let voters know that the chief law enforcement officer in the City is committing tax evasion and theft?" the tipster wrote. "The intentional failure to pay taxes is one type of theft. Many people have gone to jail for not paying taxes."

The tipster was not through lecturing the reporter. 

"At a minimum, the major newspaper in Philadelphia should be all over this and putting it on the front page," the tipster wrote. "Are the voters not at least owed this much from the press? Especially in light of Krasner running on a platform of directing tax dollars away from criminal justice and giving it to the schools. Tax deadbeats who fail to pay real estate and U+O taxes are a huge part of the School District's funding problems."

"I am waiting on a response from the city," the reporter wrote back on Monday, the 26th, but he had clearly grown tired of being lectured.

"Your snotty tone, sent from behind a veil of anonymity, will not speed that response," the reporter wrote. "But have at it if it makes you feel better."

Big Trial also reached out to the city seeking clarification of the D.A.'s tax situation.

A spokesman for the city's Revenue Department, clearly recognizing a political hot potato, referred comment to the mayor's press office.

"The Real Estate Tax account for 1221 Locust Street is currently in a payment agreement, and is considered in compliance," a spokesperson from the mayor's press office wrote back. "The balance shown online on the City’s Real Estate Tax Balance website is accurate through the date indicated."

According to the city website, however, an "active payment agreement plan" is "in effect" for 2021. Now the next question is who in the Kenney administration gave the incumbent D.A. a deal so he wouldn't have to pay this year's taxes?

"An agreement for 23 months was entered on 3/30/21," a city spokesperson wrote back. "It is the right of all taxpayers to seek a payment agreement for any taxes due. The Department of Revenue applies payment agreement terms and qualifications for all applicants on a consistent basis."

Sadly, the D.A.'s unpaid taxes isn't the only story about Krasner that political columnist Brennan has passed up. 

Earlier this month, the same tipster sent Brennan a rare copy of the 2017 official Krasner For D.A. campaign video, "What Larry Stands For," starring Krasner and Anmol Singh Kamra of the Philadelphia Sikh Society. 

The reason why the official 45-second campaign video is no longer available on the Internet -- two years after it was made, Kamra was convicted in U.S. District Court of conspiring to distribute more than 82,000 Oxycodone pills to addicts.

The campaign video may be gone but Krasner has yet to return a total of $8,000 in contributions that he received in 2017 from Kamra, as well as Kamra's boss, who ran the pharmacy that the feds said was a pill mill.

Why didn't the Inquirer cover this story? Brennan, who did not respond to a Big Trial request for comment, seemed interested at first.

"Feel free to send me any information you would like me to review," Brennan wrote the tipster on April 2nd.

A week later, on April 9th, the tipster wrote back, noting that Brennan had shown no interest in the pill mill story, but was all over a story about a police PAC apologizing for "tactless" campaign adds. 

"Another Protect the Police PAC story? You certainly are a one trick pony," the tipster wrote. "Are you using the information on Kamra?"

"Protect Our Police PAC made themselves a political player in this race," Brennan wrote back later that same day. "Both candidates in the primary are talking about them. That equals news, even if you don’t care for it."


  1. Sounds like Rufus Williams part 2. Another BROKE ASS DA! That can't pay his bills but has no problem taking and spending other people's money! Larry the Fraud Krasner your time is up!! Big brother is always watching!!

    1. That's for billionaires to decide. They pretty much own everything in the planet.
      We'll have to see what the billionaires decide for us.

  2. Wow, you sure have a lot of information about this "tipster". Y'all are a joke.

    1. No worries. Billionaires who own everything will find and target this tipster you speak of. He will be silenced, no lojger speaking truth to power.
      Billionaires simply hate opposition.

  3. Feeling the heat are ya? Y'all seem worried. Lots more coming.

    1. Some may feel the heat, but we know ballot stuffing election judges will cheat and put into office those the oligarchs approve of. Philadelphia has a long, shameful history of election fraud. Krasner may win.

    2. Funny. This poster maligns the 'tipster', while posting as 'anonymous'.

  4. The Inquirer is funded by billionaires to serve oligarchs and their political lackeys.
    Why would the Inquirer hold Kraz-Kraz accountable, when the Inquirer is Funded and controlled by rich, powerful,tax avoiding, Trump-like elites?
    Remember: only little people pay taxes.
    The Inquirer actively promotes and protects big Trump supporting, tax avoiding, corporate welfare receiving Republican billionaire Josh Harris.
    The Inquirer shills for rich white people.

  5. The inquirer's Chris Brennan is just one of many white privilege elite columnists who are taking jobs away from poor, historically underserved journalists of color.
    #Inquirer So White!

  6. Thanks, Ralph. When the Inquirer acts and fails to act responsibly,ethically and on behalf of ALL citizens in this great city, the devastation from such egregious and unprofessional conduct and decision-making is overwhelming. When the lights finally go out at their offices at 800 Market Street, we must meet to share a toast that this hypocritical guardian of our democracy has finally met its pitiful end.

  7. Imagine the level of chutzpah calling your column CLOUT when you have about 11 people who actually read it.


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