When a blind trust isn’t blind, and millions are owed in state taxes

Once again Better Georgia has done the homework on icky ethics and leadership in our state’s government. Using reporting from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Gainesville Times, and a nifty infographic that timelines Governor Nathan Deal’s troubled finances with a salvage company he co-owned with Ken Cronan, now we know that a blind trust isn’t always blind. And millions in state taxes aren’t always paid by the Texas companies who owe them.

Deal had a $300,000 per year sweetheart contract with the state for storing junked cars. Now that salvage company, one that was placed in a blind trust, has been sold to Copart, a Texas based company which owes the state of Georgia almost $74M in taxes and penalities.

And that blind trust? The AJC reports that the trust got Governor Deal to sign off on the purchase contract, one which allows both Deal and his partner to own the property and collect $120,000 each per year to lease the land to Copart.

And Copart? It has filed an appeal with the state Department of Revenue on the taxes it owes.

Now that Governor Deal has a little change in his pocket, maybe he can bring some pressure to bear on companies who owe our state a hefty amount of taxes and penalties. After all, the taxes are owed to the people of this state, the same ones who bankroll Governor Deal’s paycheck and the Governor’s Mansion where Deal now lives.

About Katherine Helms Cummings

During the day I am a social and environmental activist whose professional work has been in the nonprofit world for the last 12 years. Most nights and weekends I am an artisan making accessories with upcycled cashmere and woven textiles. My handmade items are available at The Sassy Gal http://thesassygal.org
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