Friday, April 29, 2022

Larry Krasner -- Tax Deadbeat & Hypocrite

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

District Attorney Larry Krasner, the city's top law enforcement official, is a tax deadbeat again.

For Krasner, paying his real estate taxes over the years has been a persistent problem, but he doesn't want to talk about it. And neither does Kevin Lessard, Mayor Kenney's director of communications.

Lessard went on vacation today rather than answer the question of who at City Hall was responsible for giving the D.A. yet another pass on paying his property taxes this year like everybody else has to do.   

According to Krasner's most recent statement of financial interest, filed in 2020, the D.A. has a 40% ownership stake in Tiger Building LP, which owns the former Princeton Club located at 1221-23 Locust Street. 

Last year, Big Trial reported that Tiger Building LP had an outstanding tax bill of $53,168.60 that hadn't been paid. According to city records, the historic landmark property, which last sold in 2008 for $1.35 million, has a current value of $3.8 million.

So last year, the city and Tiger Building LLP entered into a payment agreement. But according to city records, Krasner still owes $26,608.19 in principal on last year's taxes, plus $2,261.05 in interest, penalties and fees, for a total of $30,786.33.

And this year, Krasner didn't get around to paying his taxes either. So as of today, Tiger Building LP  owes the city $53,168.60 in principal on the same building, plus $797.53 in interest, for a total of $53,966.13.

So according to city records posted online, this means that for the tax years of 2021 and 2022, Tiger Building LLP co-owned by the district attorney of Philadelphia now owes the city a grand total of $84,752.46 in taxes, interest, penalties, and fees.

Krasner's not only cheating the city. Some 54% of all property tax revenues go to the financially distressed Philadelphia School District. 

"Pay now," the city's webpage advises Krasner and the other owners of the former Princeton Club. "Need help with your bill? We offer payment options and assistance plans."

Krasner, who, as usual, did not respond to requests for comment, has been a persistent deadbeat when it comes to paying taxes owed on the former Princeton Club.

Back in 2016, the year before Krasner first ran for D.A.,Tiger Building LLP had an unpaid bill of $130,809 in use and occupancy taxes owed to the Philadelphia School District. That bill included $71,992 in taxes, a $24,900 fine, and $33,916 in combined interest and penalties. 

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

But then last year, while he was running for reelection as D.A., Krasner stopped paying his taxes again. 

When I contacted the city's Revenue Department last year for comment on unpaid taxes of $53,168.60 on the former Princeton Club, a spokesperson declined comment, and passed the buck 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 last year. 

"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."

So earlier this week, when the back taxes, interest and penalties owed on the former Princeton Club hit $84,752.46, I contacted the mayor's office once again for comment.

"Hi Ralph -- Checking on this and will get back to you," Lessard wrote on Wednesday.

So today, when I hadn't heard back from Lessard within 48 hours, I wrote him another email asking what gives.

Seconds later, I got an automatic reply. 

"Thank you for your message," Lessard wrote. "I will be away beginning Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 8 and will not be regularly checking email.

"If you are a reporter on deadline, please email press@phila.gov. For all other inquiries, I will get back to you upon my return to the office on Monday, May 9."

"Stay well, and thank you for your patience," Lessard wrote.

That left my questions to Lessard hanging, such as:

"Why is the city not instituting legal proceedings against Krasner for non-payment of this year's taxes?"

"Who in the city specifically negotiated this deal?"

"Why is the city allowing Krasner to pay under $2,000 a month when he has an annual salary of more than $180,000, his wife [the retired judge] has a pension of more than $100,000, and according to their statement of financial interest, they both have additional sources of income?"

"Why is the mayor's office involved in answering questions about why the D.A. doesn't pay his taxes?" 

"Is this a special deal worked out between Krasner and Kenney? A deal that nobody else can get?"

"After reading the city's website, it appears that the city does not allow taxpayers to enter into a payment agreement when they've made no good faith payments prior to the taxes being overdue. Why is Krasner being treated differently?"

But, as I mentioned previously, rather than answer my questions, Lessard was off partying somewhere. And when I forwarded my list of questions to press@phila.gov, they didn't respond either. 

Next, I emailed City Solicitor Diana Cortes a similar list of questions, since last year's settlement agreement with Tiger Building LP is listed on city records under her name. But Cortes did not  respond to my request for comment. 

After 5 p.m. tonight, however, a spokesperson for the mayor's press office -- whom Lessard, apparently rousted from his vacation, sought anonymity for -- finally got around to responding to my questions.

The response came after this story was posted without any comment from city officials and obviously, somebody at City Hall got pissed about it.

The spokesperson conceded that the Tiger Building's taxes owed for this year are now considered "overdue."

The city spokesperson, however, claimed that Krasner received no special treatment, and that the city typically waits until the following January, as in January 2023, to take action against tax deadbeats like Krasner for this year. 

Only in January 2023, the spokesman said, would Krasner's unpaid taxes be considered "delinquent." And that's when the city would move to put a lien on the property for unpaid taxes.

The city's tax regulations, however, indicate that Krasner has already violated the terms of his payment agreement for 2021 by not paying this year's taxes.

The regulations state that if somebody is already involved in a payment agreement with the city, "the taxpayer is obligated to pay the current year real estate taxes that come due . . . during each subsequent year." 

The regulations also state that taxpayers involved in a payment agreement with the city are subject to "the requirement of maintenance of current property tax payments during the length of the agreement."

So Krasner is already in default of his payment agreement, but nobody in the city is doing anything about it.

That's what we call a sweetheart deal. But the question remains -- who in the city gave Krasner that sweetheart deal?

The deal with Krasner and friends was negotiated by "a member of our front-line staff in Taxpayer Services," the city spokesperson said, but declined to name who that frontline staffer was. 

The spokesperson also would not disclose the actual terms of the payment agreement, which Krasner and friends obviously did not live up to, as the city presently lists that Tiger Building LP still owes $26,608.19 in principal on last year's taxes, plus $2,261.05 in interest, penalties and fees, for a total of $30,786.33.

The city spokesperson also claimed that the combined income of Krasner and his wife was irrelevant when it came to negotiating the payment agreement. 

"For this type of agreement, the City does not evaluate individual income or expenses," the spokesperson claimed. "The taxpayer, Tiger Building LP, qualified for our existing terms."   

The city's tax regulations, however, state that payment agreements are up to the "broad" discretion of city officials. So once again, in negotiating that payment agreement, somebody at City Hall gave Krasner and friends another sweetheart deal.

As for why the mayor's press office would get involved in a tax dispute with the D.A., the spokesperson said, "The Mayor’s Press Office coordinates all media responses for every department in the City."

So Larry Krasner, the city's top law enforcement official, has a well-documented history stretching back over nearly a decade of being a persistent tax deadbeat who regularly cheats the Philadelphia School District out of the tax revenues that he owes.

But since he got reelected as D.A, Krasner and his supporters have become big boosters on behalf of funding public schools. 

Anyone else see a problem here?

"Real Public Safety happens when we fully invest in our public schools," proclaims an ad that ran on the internet in March featuring a photo of Krasner.

The ad was run by the Real Justice PAC of San Francisco. Last year, the PAC raised some $1.3 million for Krasner's reelection campaign --- in flagrant violation of city elections laws that limited contributions from a single PAC to $12,600.

[Instead of enforcing the law, however, the city Board of Ethics took a dive and gave Krasner a pass, much like what City Hall is doing right now with the D.A. when it comes to making him pay back taxes.]

That Real Justice ad featured Krasner and a couple of friends holding up signs that said, "Fully Funded Public Schools = Crime Prevention."

"The safest neighborhoods don't have the most militarized police," Real Justice wrote under Krasner's photo. "They have the most resources, including fully funded public schools."

"We are so proud to have helped re-elect Philly DA Larry Krasner for DA because he understands that real public safety happens when every student is able to get a quality education," the Real Justice ad concluded.

Just don't expect Krasner the tax deadbeat and hypocrite to pay his fair share to ensure that kids get that quality education. 

12 comments

  1. Garnish his wages

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    Replies
    1. Cannot. An agreement exists for payment.

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  2. Not the same but I remember when John Street was Mayor he owed a shit ton of money to PGW on his North Philly property for not paying his gas bill.
    Politicians = do as I say not as I do. Just remember some poor slobs voted for both of these POS.

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  3. Tell me you’re corrupt without telling me you’re corrupt…. The average voter, the real regular everyday “Joe” who votes with a genuine expectation that his/her vote could make a difference, yet still continues to vote democrat year after year is truly insane. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result = the democrat constituency.

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  4. I'm pretty sure city employees cannot be tax, gas or water delinquents. Fire him.

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    Replies
    1. You do it. Pretty sure means you do not know(?).

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  5. Under the Framework of the New Ministry of Truth that the DHS of the Criminal and Fascist Biden Administration, You Ralph are a Singular Example of an Enemy of the State for boldly exposing the Failures Administered by Puppet Governments.

    In the Years that You have exposed and taken Positions which the Corrupt Media led by the NY Times, Washington Post, and the Inquirer, examples of Rigged Elections and Policies that favor the likes of the Biden Crime Syndicate and Local Examples of the convicted criminals who include Former DA Rufus Williams, State Senator Fumo, Congressman Chaka Fattah, and hopefully soon to be charged and prosecuted DA Krasner and Mayor Kenney.

    As This Country moves closer to an Economic Depression and Social Disintegration led by the inspired Policies of the Criminal Democrats and the Soros Vanguard of Criminal Oligarchs,, it is now obvious why the Inquirer won't respond to Your Inquiries and Local Politicians evade Your Questions.

    Investigative Journalists with Track Records of Your Pedigree are in the Crosshairs of the Fascists who have assumed Power in American Government and when News Organizations and Journalists are prosecuted for Shining a Light on this Contemporary Legion of Scumbags, then perhaps the Diversion of Attention for a War in the Ukraine may focus on the Greater War in American Cities.

    Let's see if This Biden Puppet Government will prosecute All who oppose its nefarious conduct and a Real Change in Government will be forthcoming and whether True Press Freedom will endure.

    The White House Correspondents who will gather Tonight and celebrate and feast while They have conspired with Evil Forces to Support a Corrupt and Senile Democrat Dictator have inspired the Policies that are similar in Fashion to the Actions they denigrate that are conducted by Putin.

    But America is asked to support Ukraine with Billions in a Proxy War which follows previous Wars where Lives and Treasure have been squandered as will surely be the Case in this One.

    The Crime and Rubble in America's Once Showcase Cities is obvious to All, except to the Scoundrels like DHS Secretary Mayorkas who supports the Invasion of This Country by the Animals emerging from the World's Jungles and are set free and supported to wreak havoc with Democrat Support.

    Jason Brando

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  6. This is repulsive and should be front page news!! He should be ashamed. The City should sell his property at Sheriff sale!

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    Replies
    1. He has no shame.

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    2. Study requirements for a Sheriff Sale first.

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    3. We do not really know that.

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  7. The entire DA’s office is corrupt. Krasner and the others listed are only a few who owe back taxes. This I consider privileged. If I owed taxes I’d be thrown in jail because I’m a nobody. This needs to be gotten to the bottom of and shake up the department responsible for tax collection. Someone is being paid to look the other way. Krasner needs to go as well as all of the corrupt people in the city government.

    ReplyDelete

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