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Harold Ford Has Lived In New York Three Years Without Paying State Taxes

It just gets worse and worse and worse for Harold Ford.

When it comes to his shadow run for Senate, Harold Ford is a New Yorker through and through. When it comes to paying taxes, though, he’s still a Tennessean — he’s never filed a New York return.

Ford claims to have moved to New York three years ago, and says paying “New York taxes” makes him a New Yorker. But his spokeswoman confirms to Gawker that he’s never filed a New York tax return — meaning that he’s never paid New York’s income tax, despite keeping an office and a residence in New York City as a vice chairman of Merrill Lynch since 2007: “He pays New York taxes and will file a New York tax return in April for the first time,” Ford’s spokeswoman Tammy Sun told Gawker. “He will file all necessary personal disclosure and tax forms that candidates are required to file if he chooses to run.” (According to Sun, Ford admitted to the tax dodge yesterday at a press availability in Albany, but we can’t find any news accounts mentioning the remarks.)

Hey, at least they’re getting out in front of the story, right?

There are at least a couple reasons why Ford would keep his residency in Tennessee. One, he was considering a run for Tennessee Governor in 2010 until as recently as last April. Two, Tennessee doesn’t have a state income tax on wages. And three, he’s just a tax cheat. New York State law requires part-time residents and nonresidents to pay income tax on whatever salary they earn in the state. Ford has certainly earned three years’ worth of salary in New York with Merrill Lynch and MSNBC. So you can add “tax dodger” to the resume, right next to “head of the DLC.”

For additional comic relief, there’s a Draft Ford site out there which, until today, had 11 signatures, and the ones that have come in since then include “Ukant B. Zerius,” “Deuce Bagg,” “Ima Hogg,” and “Farold Hoarde.” Seriously.

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David Dayen

David Dayen