Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is facing mounting fines as a result of her inability to deal with a New York state tax warrant against her now-defunct company.
During the summer of 2017, New York state issued a tax warrant against Ocasio-Cortez’s publishing company, Brook Avenue Press, to recover a total of $1,618 in overdue corporate taxes. Ocasio-Cortez has not made a single payment for her past-due business taxes, although the company was founded back in 2012. This resulted in a 52 percent increase in the tax warrant’s current sum to $2,461.
According to state corporation documents, the state of New Your liquidated Brook Avenue Press in 2016. About two months after Ocasio-Cortez began her triumphant campaign against former Rep. Joe Crowley, the state filed its tax warrant against her defunct business.
One of the Bronx County Clerk’s Office employees confirmed the tax order against Brook Avenue Press remains open.
Ocasio-Cortez informed the public that the lawmakers were aware of the situation she was facing only after she had been sworn into Congress. This happened in January 2019.
She promised to pay off her past-due business tax payment at first but then stated that the warrant had been issued “in error” and that she was appealing the case.
“The congresswoman is still in the process of contesting the tax warrant. The business has been closed for several years now, and so we believe that the state Tax Department has continued to collect the franchise tax in error,” Ocasio-Cortez spokeswoman Lauren Hitt in May 2020.
“As anyone who’s tried to contest a tax bill in error knows, it takes time,” Hitt said.
In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez submitted a financial disclosure to the House, identifying herself as the founder and owner of Brook Avenue Press.
It’s unclear if Ocasio-Cortez will pay the tax debt owed by her previous company to the state or if she will continue to contest the tax bill.
One thing is certain. Ocasio-Cortez has the money to cover the taxes she owes. During her first three years in the House of Representatives, the politician earned a total of $522,000 before taxes from her congressional salary.
Ocasio-Cortez asked high-income earners to pay up to 70% more in taxes as one of her first acts as a member of Congress in order to pay for her Green New Deal climate policy program.
In September 2021, she attended the Met Gala wearing a white gown printed with the words “Tax the Rich” in large red letters.
Aurora James, the dress designer, has experienced similar problems with the state as a result of the tax warrants. For the past seven years, her company has faced 15 state tax warrants.
Long before Ocasio-Cortez got into politics in 2012, she spoke about the negative consequences taxes had on small company owners.
“You don’t really make a profit in your first year,” Ocasio-Cortez said in 2012. “To get taxed on top of that is a real whammy.”
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