Boccieri’s Potential GOP Challenger Fought $1M+ Tax Assessment

Rep. John Boccieri’s (D-OH) likely Republican opponent was “assessed nearly $1.4 million in unpaid state taxes, interest and fees in 2006” — which he fought fiercely before finally paying, the Associated Press reports.Republican Jim Renacci, a successful businessman, and his wife “filed adjusted gross income in 2000 of negative $247,000 but a state audit calculated the sum at $13.7 million, according to an Associated Press review of public documents.”

The Renaccis were then assessed nearly $1 million in unpaid taxes, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest and penalties. Renacci fought the assessment — but eventually paid it off.

His campaign spokesman, James Slepian, tells TPM that Renacci “fully complied with state and federal law at every step of the process” and “paid in full everything that was owed.”

Renacci’s fight against payment, Slepian said, was the product of a tax commissioner reversing his position on Renacci’s state tax liability, and Renacci fighting that ruling. Renacci had about $14 million in a trust that he believed to be free of state tax liabilities. Slepian said roughly 1,000 other Ohioans found themselves in a similar position as Renacci when it turned out they did owe taxes on funds in such trusts.

Renacci is the state party’s favorite in the May 4 primary. He’d then likely face Boccieri in the general election. Boccieri, who switched his health care vote from “no” on the House bill to “yes” on the Senate bill, faces a tough bid for reelection this year in a historically Republican district.