House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, told IdahoReporter.com that he won’t call on Rep. Phil Hart, R-Hayden Lake, to resign from the House Revenue and Taxation Committee following a revelation by a writer from the Spokesman Review that the IRS had filled more than $300,000 in liens on Hart’s property for failure to pay taxes.
Rusche, attending his party’s state convention in Worley, said that though he wouldn’t call for Hart to resign from the committee, on which Rusche also sits, he isn’t entirely comfortable with it. “I see significant problems in someone with those kind of problems helping to craft tax policy for the state,” Rusche said. He said the he feels that constituents in Hart’s district deserve proper representation and he is unsure if Hart can provide that.
Hart defended himself in the Spokesman article, saying that the experience is helping him to gain insight with the federal bureaucracy and red tape. It is the second time in recent years that Hart has run into tax problems. About five years ago, Hart and the IRS reached an agreement on how he would pay back more than $90,000 in unpaid taxes and penalties.