State Sen. Robert Brown, D-Macon, said this morning that he has filed for extensions on his state and federal taxes, and may or may not owe money.
He wouldn't say how many years he's done this or provide any other information. Last night, 11 Alive reported that Brown told them he had not filed for two years, and that he cited his health as the reason.
Sen. Brown said this morning that he does not know whether he is one of the 19 state legislators that the Department of Revenue has said aren't current on their taxes. The department hasn't named them, citing their policy to keep tax information private unless a lien is filed.
When he spoke to 11 Alive, Brown said he was simply using himself as an example of why he thinks a proposal from state Sen. Eric Johnson is a bad idea. Sen. Johnson's resolution would give the Senate more power over colleagues who do not pay their taxes.
That's the Department of Revenue and Internal Revenue Service's job, Brown said.
"It is not a group of political hacks over at the Senate who should have that authority," Brown said.
Sen. Brown said he is current on all local property taxes. He doesn't know whether his federal or state taxes are current because "you don't know that until you actually complete the process of filing," he said.
"I am bearing the same (tax) burden (as my constituents)," Brown said. "I am simply exercising the same rules (which allow me to file for an extension)."
If anyone back home doesn't like it, Brown said "they can vote."
"In 2010 I will stand to be judged on what I just said," he said.
Sen. Johnson's resolution will be discussed this afternoon in the Senate Rules Committee. Sen. Johnson chairs the Senate's Ethics Committee.