Joe the Plumber's taxes
One more go at Joe the Plumber

Joe the Plumber's tax troubles

Uh oh. Guess who owes back taxes?

Joe the Plumber.

Yep, the Holland, Ohio, man who, thanks to last night's presidential debate, has become the symbol of small business owners looking to lower their company taxes, owes the Ohio revenue department almost $1,200.

According to, records on file with the Lucas County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas show that the state filed a tax lien against Samuel J. Wurzelbacher for $1,182.98 on Jan. 26, 2007, that is still active.

The state of Ohio places a lien on real property after several steps to try to collect a tax debt, John Kohlstrand, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation, told Bloomberg.

If a delinquency notice goes unheeded, the Department of Taxation issues a billing notice.

If that is ignored, a more formal assessment notice is sent.

Failing to appeal an assessment or losing an appeal puts the debt into the hands of the state attorney general for collection. The attorney general typically sends a collection notice and simultaneously files a lien.   

"The taxpayers may not necessarily know about the lien,'' Kohlstrand said, although they would receive other notices. 

The notice to Wurzelbacher apparently was sent to a previous address in Toledo.


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Emergency Plumbers Toronto

"And given that these falsehoods have been debunked countless times not only here but by other organizations like CNN, CQ, and, the fact that they continue to spout them suggests that they don't really care about the truth and would rather just say what sounds good in front of a camera," adds Prante.


Great blog, utterly unfair and irrelevant observation.

In the interest of fairness, I have a suggestion.

Let's check the background and character of every person who asked McCain a question at the second debate and of every member of the press who questions McCain on some policy proposal.

Anyone with less than a saintly past will be subjected to a week of public vilification and humiliation for having the unmitigated temerity to be human.


The article isn't clear on the nature of the unpaid tax liability, but if it's for property taxes on his home, I'm not sure it's particularly newsworthy.

Some homeowners defer payment of property taxes to tax years in which they expect to maximize deductions and thereby optimize their cash flow.

For example, I know someone who has a regular two-year business cycle, where high-income and low-income years alternate. He pays his property taxes every other year to optimize cash flow and take deductions he would forgo if he paid the taxes annually.

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