Prosecutors want Hart bankruptcy denied

BOISE (AP) ó Federal prosecutors are asking a bankruptcy judge to reject an Idaho lawmakerís bankruptcy proposal to pay just a small fraction of the half-million he owes in back taxes because they say itís not feasible.

Rep. Phil Hart, a Republican from northern Idaho, has offered to pay $12,000 over five years to settle more than $600,000 in debts.

The Spokesman-Review ( ) reports that U.S. Department of Justice attorney Adam Strait filed court documents opposing Hartís plan, saying that it doesnít include enough money to pay back the IRS. Strait also contends that the plan is based on Hartís legislative salary, which will disappear at the end of this year because Hart lost in the GOP primary.

Hart contends that both state and federal income taxes are unconstitutional, and he stopped filing both types of tax returns in 1996 when he sued in hopes of getting the federal income tax declared unconstitutional. After he lost the lawsuit he began filing tax returns again, but authorities say he never fully paid up.

In court documents federal prosecutors also took issue with Hartís refusal to answer numerous questions about his assets in bankruptcy court last month. Hart refused to answer questions about who owns the home where he lives in Athol, how long he lived there and who built it. He also refused to answer questions about the car that he drives. Court records show Hart was ordered to pay more than $22,000 for illegally cutting trees from state school endowment land in 1996 and using them in the construction of the log home where he lives. He also had a building permit for the home.

Hart claimed that as a citizen, he had a right to take the logs for free, but he lost repeated court appeals.

In a separate lawsuit, the federal government is seeking to foreclose on Hartís home to pay his IRS debt. The building is owned by a trust in his daughterís name, though Hart still lives there. Federal authorities contend that the transfer of the home to the trust was a fraudulent transaction with a sham entity. That foreclosure lawsuit was placed on hold when Hart filed for bankruptcy.

Read More News

Boundary Countyís autumn landscape

October 27, 2016 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald As I drove this weekend in the Selkirk Mountains, up the Myrtle Creek road and through the Burton Creek drainage, I felt a slight chill in the air. Shadows are lengthening more each day,...

Read More

Open burning restrictions in effect year-round

October 27, 2016 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) reminds northern Idahoans that the stateís outdoor burning restrictions and permitting requirements are in effect year-round.Ralph Paul,...

Read More

(No heading)

October 27, 2016 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald

Read More

Rod Benders car club donates to Explorers

October 27, 2016 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald The Bonners Ferry Border Patrol Explorer Post #190 received a check for $300 from the Rod Benders Car Club this month. Patrol Explorer Richard Powell said the Explorers were appreciative of...

Read More