Harold Ford Definitely Plans to File His First NY Tax Return


Turns out one of the things Harold Ford is planning to learn in his getting to know you tour of the state he wants to represent in the Senate is what it feels like to file his taxes here. Gawker got confirmation yesterday from Ford spokeswoman Tammy Sun that the would-be junior New York Senator will be filing a New York tax return for the first time this year.

Ford told the Times as recently as, well, last month that he moved here to New York to be with his wife after his losing Tennessee Senate Race in ’06, although he said he didn’t switch his residence until last year (“Moved,” he said, “is such a legal term”). FEC records show that he was using his Tennessee address as recently as late September of last year.

Ford has been working locally as a commentator for msnbc (and at Fox for a year) and teaching at NYU, in addition to maintaining a Merrill Lynch office in New York since 2007 (he’s recently suspended the Merrill Lynch and msnbc jobs while he hamlets the Senate race). Under those circumstances, most of us would have been paying taxes before this.

Well, Gawker’s got that covered too. They have a short list of ways Ford could have structured his time spent in New York and his income so that all of his money is paid to him in Tennessee, which doesn’t, it seems, have an income tax.

Sun, Ford’s spokeswoman, has since contacted Talking Points Memo to object strenuously to the implications of a completely different question than the one Gawker was asking.

Harold Ford Jr. has always paid his taxes — and always will. Any suggestion to the contrary is both malicious and wrong. He will file for the first time as a New York resident in April. If he becomes a candidate for US Senate — like he did for 10 years while serving in Congress — Harold will comply with all financial disclosure requirements expected of a candidate for U.S Senate.

If her name sounds familiar, you may be remembering Tammy Sun from back in 2006, when she was explaining dicey financial arrangements for the Lieberman campaign.

Meanwhile, the fact that Ford has been walking the walk on lower taxes for people who make a great deal of money on Wall Street is paying off for him in other ways.

Next month, he’s taking a break from the strenuous business of actually living here (in the gritty environs of Union Square) to head off to balmy Bermuda, a popular tax haven for US corporations. He’s scheduled to talk to a group of “international” businessmen about “how Bermuda can play a vital role in the U.S. and global economy.”

You never know. Maybe one of them will be interested in Schumer’s seat.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 13, 2010

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