Eric Stewart, a Democratic congressional candidate, has admitted to falling behind on personal and business taxes but assures the public that he is meeting financial obligations to the IRS on a 2011 tax lien and an existing installment agreement.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported last week that Stewart was bombarded with federal tax liens of $24,678 in 2002 and in 2011 for not meeting the deadlines on personal and business tax payments. He was able to settle the personal tax lien for approximately $10,000 in 2003, however he still has a lien against him for $15,227 because he owed payroll taxes from his insurance company.
In the midst of another 16-county campaign, Stewart had already spent a considerable amount of time defending his financial stance when news of his $100 fine for failing to turn in his 2008 campaign receipts surfaced. Now, he has even more explaining to do.
Adding to the fire is Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, who is running against Stewart for the 4th Congressional District seat in Tennessee. DesJarlais’ campaign has slammed Stewart for his tax problems, and Brandon Lewis, the campaign director for DesJarlais, has been recorded saying, “if past performance is the best predictor of future behavior, taxpayers can bet Eric Stewart would manage their tax dollars in the same fashion he manages his own – poorly.”
Local voters are set to decide between Eric Stewart and Scott DesJarlais in the November 6 election.