HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Christopher Murphy was late paying a real estate tax bill in 2005 and late paying his car taxes seven times between 1998 and 2005, according to tax records obtained by a newspaper.
The records involve a $1,890 tax bill on the home Murphy purchased in Cheshire in 2005 and on cars he owned in Southington, The Hartford Courant reported Thursday.
The taxes on the home were paid four months late and the car bills went unpaid for as long as 10 months. Murphy eventually paid the bills along with $156 in interest, the newspaper reported.
“He made a mistake, but paid the principal that was owed along with … interest that was due,” Murphy campaign spokesman Ben Marter told the newspaper. “Chris fell behind on a number of bills around this time period, but paid back whatever he owed.”
The Courant reported that Murphy’s campaign originally said the unpaid property taxes on the home were owed by the previous owner, but retracted that position after the Courant found documents proving there were no outstanding taxes due before the sale.
“Chris fully paid the escrow to pay the taxes that were identified at the time of closing, but there was an error made at closing,” Marter said.
Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon are vying for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring independent Joe Lieberman and their respective personal finances have become an issue in the campaign.
Murphy has criticized McMahon for failing to repay creditors from a 1976 personal bankruptcy, despite later making a fortune as chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment. Documents obtained by The Day of New London found records detailing $1 million in debt at the time of the bankruptcy.
Murphy has faced questions over a line of credit he received after being sued in 2007 for defaulting on the mortgage of the Cheshire home. He also was sued by his landlord in 2003 for failing to pay rent on an apartment in Southington.
McMahon’s campaign has filed an ethics complaint with the U.S. House accusing Murphy of using his congressional position to obtain the credit line, and has called on him to detail how many mortgage payments he missed.
“Congressman Murphy can only cover up so much dishonesty,” McMahon’s campaign manager, Corry Bliss, said in a statement. “It’s clear that Chris Murphy lives his life by his own set of rules.”
Information from: The Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)