Engler disputes back taxes

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN)– David Engler currently owes the IRS nearly $167,000 in back income taxes.

But the attorney and judicial candidate insists he’ll have the matter resolved before he takes office if he’s elected this fall.

“It’s not a matter of avoiding your taxes or not telling the IRS what you made,” Engler said. “It’s a question of trying to get to the actual number.”

Engler said that number is closer to $60,000, but was bloated by penalties and interest. He blames the problems on cash flow issues with his clients, as well as his expenses.

“A lot of the work that I do, people just simply can’t pay,” Engler said. “It was the tax man who was last in line.”

Engler’s problems are not new. There are five IRS liens against him, with the first covering the 2006 tax year.

In response to why the taxes hadn’t been resolved, Engler said, “Because the number’s too big and I didn’t have the money to resolve it.”

Engler said he’s been paying around $2,000 per month for the past year. However, he failed to produce copies of his tax statements to show which parts he is disputing.

He said he’s having accountants review them, looking for missed deductions and other places to reduce his debt.

“When I file the tax returns, I’d be happy to show you, but I don’t have them now,” Engler told reporter Gerry Riccuitti.

Engler admits the back taxes are an issue, but insists voters shouldn’t be concerned.

“It’s an absolute challenge, but it’s nothing that affects my character as a person,” Engler said. “At most it makes me understand people have struggles.”

Engler is running for an open seat on the 7th District Court of Appeals and filed last week to be on the Democratic primary ballot in May. The first test of his candidacy may be when local Democratic precinct committee leaders meet later this month to make endorsements.

The Appeals Court system was established by the Ohio Constitution to review judicial orders handed down in lower courts around the state.

There are 12 appellate districts. The 7th District covers eight counties in the southeastern part of the state, including Mahoning and Columbiana. Four judges sit on this court, and three of them hear each case.

The decisions made at this level can ultimately be reviewed by the state Supreme Court. More information on the Ohio court system is available here.

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