Website claims Sen. Mary Landrieu owes taxes

WASHINGTON — A news website is attacking U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu for outstanding property tax penalties on her family’s Washington, D.C., home.

An article in The Daily Caller, a website founded by conservative pundit Tucker Carlson, calls it a “twist of hypocrisy” that Landrieu, D-La., is calling for more federal revenues — in addition to budget cuts — while having taxation penalties of her own.

Washington, D.C., property assessment records show her Capitol Hill home is valued at $2.36 million and is facing $1,206.95 in penalties and interest as of Feb. 2.

The home is listed under the name of Landrieu’s husband, Frank Snellings, and has more than $20,000 in annual property taxes. The property also had penalties in 2005 and 2006.

Landrieu is a top target for the Republican Party in 2014 when she faces re-election as the most powerful Democrat in an increasingly conservative state.

Landrieu has argued that the federal budget and deficit problems cannot be solved by cutting alone. She has contended that any deal must include Republicans accepting more revenues by eliminating some of the corporate-desired credits, such as “closing offshore tax havens” for corporations.

“There is no doubt that we have a budget challenge on our hands and that revenues are not in line with spending,” Landrieu said in an interview earlier this month. “I have been saying consistently for years now that, in order to correct it, you’ve got to have both additional revenues and spending reductions.”

The Daily Caller article says it’s hypocritical of Landrieu to call for extra tax revenues while having taxation penalties of her own.

Landrieu criticized Republicans and conservative media outlets for focusing on nondefense discretionary spending as out of control.

She said the spending includes paying for veterans’ benefits, transportation infrastructure, education and more.

The real spending problem is with mandatory spending for “earned benefits” programs like Social Security, she said. There are a lot more retirees. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid combine for more than 40 percent of federal spending, she said.

Landrieu and her husband are traveling in Asia this week and Washington, D.C., government offices were closed Monday because of the President’s Day federal holiday.

“When they reopen, we will be able to supply you with additional information on this issue,” Landrieu spokeswoman Amber McDowell said in an email response.

Some of Landrieu’s potential opponents in 2014 include U.S. Reps. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge; Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette; and John Fleming, R-Minden; former U.S. Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia; and state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education President Chas Roemer, of Baton Rouge.