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Why Hasn't AOC Paid Her Outstanding Tax Warrant?

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

U.S. Representative Alexandria "Tax the Rich" Ocasio-Cortez from New York is apparently in some trouble over unpaid corporate taxes she owes from a business she started before running for Congress. A tax warrant, one that AOC's representatives denied she was aware of when she took office in 2019, has been racking up fines since the congresswoman first promised to rectify her debt only to end up contesting the taxes and refusing to pay the amount due for half a decade. 


As The Washington Examiner reported:

New York state filed a tax warrant against Brook Avenue Press, a children-focused publishing house Ocasio-Cortez founded in 2012, on July 6, 2017, to collect $1,618 in unpaid corporate taxes. Ocasio-Cortez has yet to pay a penny of her overdue corporate taxes, causing the current balance of the tax warrant to swell by 52% to $2,461 as of Wednesday afternoon.

New York dissolved Brook Avenue Press in October 2016, state corporate records show. The state filed its tax warrant against Ocasio-Cortez's defunct business about two months after she launched her successful primary campaign against former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY).

A representative for the Bronx County Clerk's Office confirmed to the Washington Examiner that the tax warrant against Ocasio-Cortez's business remains open.


It's not clear whether Ocasio-Cortez is still contesting the tax bill or if she intends to pay what her former business owes to the state.

Ocasio-Cortez's office did not return a request for comment.

It's not like AOC doesn't have the means to pay the bill — her congressional salary, Tesla, and luxury apartment in D.C. all suggest that, even with its inflated balance due to nonpayment, she could easily pay the warrant and close the saga. But she hasn't, even while calling for "the rich" to be taxed at higher rates and famously wearing a dress emblazoned with "TAX THE RICH" to the 2021 Met Gala. 


Somewhat ironically, the company owned by the Met Gala dress' designer, Aurora James, "has been hit with 15 state tax warrants since 2015, three of which were due to its failure to withhold income taxes totaling nearly $15,000 from its employees," according to The Examiner. 

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