Congressional employees who don’t pay their taxes could be fired if Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) gets his way.
Chaffetz will introduce legislation Thursday that would allow Hill offices to get rid of the hundreds of Senate and House staffers who owe the government millions of dollars.
In 2008 alone, 447 House employees and 231 Senate workers didn’t pay their taxes, according to figures from the IRS, Office of Personnel Management and Department of Defense.
“We have over 600 staffers on Capitol Hill not paying their taxes. That’s just not acceptable,” Chaffetz said in an interview with POLITICO. “It’s disingenuous to take federal taxpayer dollars and not pay your full share of taxes. It’s wrong.”
Federal employees in the U.S. House of Representatives owed more than $5.8 million in unpaid taxes in 2008. The Senate employees owe more than $2.46 million, according to figures.
The figures show that former President George W. Bush’s employees had trouble paying up, too — 50 are delinquent, costing the government $812,917.
Under current law, only IRS employees can be terminated for nonpayment of federal income taxes.
Chaffetz’s legislation would extend the IRS policy to all government departments and agencies
To put the numbers in perspective, I previously blogged the data on the 275,000 federal workers who are tax deadbeats. The 678 tax deadbeats represent 3.75% of the 18,096 total congressional staff. Dozens of cabinet departments, federal agencies, departments, and commissions have higher tax deadbeat rates, including the Federal Reserve Board (4.32%).
The cabinet departments with the largest percentages of tax deadbeats are:
Housing & Urban Development: 4.05%
Veterans Affairs: 3.91%
Health & Human Services: 3.86%
Air Force: 3.25%
The agencies and commissions with the largest percentages of tax deadbeats are:
National Capital Planning Commission: 10.42%
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation: 9.26%
U.S. Office of Special Counsel: 8.65%
U.S. Election Assistance Commission: 8.51%
Federal Labor Relations Authority: 7.20%
U.S. Commission on Civil Rights: 7.14%
Federal Mine Safety & Health Review Commission: 6.82%
Government Printing Office: 6.29%
Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board: 5.33%
Court Services & Offender Supervisors: 5.23%
In contrast, only 1.43% of the employees of the Tax Court and 0.98% of the employees of the Treasury Department are tax deadbeats.