Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Judge calls Rep. Hart's tax appeal "truly remarkable." Not in a good way.

Posted on Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 2:58 PM

In his quixotic battle to not pay state and federal income taxes, a North Idaho state legislator was clobbered by a windmill Wednesday.

Rep. Phil Hart (R-Athol) lost his bid to forestall the Idaho Tax Commission from coming after $53,523 in state income tax he owes. One day after hearing arguments, 1st District Court Judge John Mitchell tossed Hart's case out on its ear.

"Hart's [motion] lacks any cogent legal argument as to why this Court has jurisdiction,"  Mitchell writes in a tart, 13-page ruling. (pdf)

Indeed, Mitchell goes on to say, "Instead of providing legal argument, Hart makes the following circular, wholly unsupported claim that this Court simply assume it has jurisdiction ... (emphasis Mitchell's)"

The judge was not amused, and called Hart's claims "truly remarkable." But he didn't mean it in a good way, going on to hammer Hart for failing to file an appeal with a tax commission appeal board within the allowed time frame. Which (in a shin-bone-connected-to-the-thigh-bone sort of way) means the appeals board has no jurisdiction to hear the appeal, which means the court has no jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

And after citing more case law, Mitchell point-blank asserts: "Hart should know that to argue the contrary is to attempt to deceive this Court. For Hart to take the extra step and claim the [tax] Commission has committed an offense which warrants sanctions ... is unthinkable."

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