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Brooklyn pol Harris has back tax woes

Coney Island Assemblymember and Husband are Bankrupt and Owe $30,000

August 1, 2016 By James Haney Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Pamela Harris. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas

Brooklyn Assemblywoman Pamela Harris and her husband owe more than $30,000 in back taxes and have declared bankruptcy, according to an exclusive report in the Daily News.

The News reported Monday that Harris (D-Coney Island) and her husband, Leon, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in 2013, and owe money to at least 15 creditors.

Among those creditors, court paperwork says, is the Internal Revenue Service. The couple owes the IRS more than $23,000, and owes New York State nearly $11,000 in delinquent personal income taxes for tax years 2008 and 2009.

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In addition, the News revealed, Harris and her husband owe nearly $620,000 — including nearly $27,000 as of May 4, to the company holding the mortgage on their Neptune Avenue home.

The paper said Nationstar Mortgage contends that the couple has missed payments they promised to make as part of the court-approved bankruptcy plan. In their legal papers, Harris and her husband dispute that.

Harris, 55, could not be reached for comment, but the News quoted her attorney, Stephen Kass, as saying: “…all sorts of people have issues at one point or another…It depends on what’s going on with your life; if you have a momentary setback.”

Under the law, a person declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy must propose a 3-to-5-year repayment plan to creditors. But the News reported that the trustee overseeing the Harris’s case filed papers seeking to end the bankruptcy agreement after the couple failed to provide a copy of their signed tax returns for 2015 a required deadline.

The trustee could not be reached for comment, but Kass told the News, however, that the tax returns in question have since been provided.

Harris won a special election to the Assembly in 2015. Prior to that, she was the executive director of Coney Island Generation Gap, a non-profit youth program organization, which has listed the Harris’s home as its address.   


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