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Hart loses appeal on back taxes

| December 9, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE (AP) - An Idaho state lawmaker who is protesting his income taxes lost his bid to appeal a State Tax Commission order that he pay $53,000 in back taxes, penalties and interest.

First District Court Judge John Mitchell wrote that Rep. Phil Hart of Athol's claim "lacks any cogent legal argument."

The Idaho State Tax Commission rejected Hart's attempts to appeal earlier this year, saying he missed a key deadline.

Hart has sought to have his appeal heard, arguing his status as a legislator should make him exempt from time limits.

Reports said Judge Mitchell agreed with the Tax Commission - that Hart filed his appeal too late, even if he had been entitled to legislative privilege.

The Republican is also waging a fight over his federal tax bill, contending income taxes are unconstitutional.

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