Stroger: I Was on a Payment Plan

County Board President responds to IRS lien on his house

Cook County Board President Todd Stroger admitted Thursday that he owes $12,000 in back taxes.

Stroger and his wife, Jeanine, filed a combined income last year of $226,000, owing nearly $12,000 to the federal government.  According to Stroger, the lien on his home came while he was in the midst of amending his return.

He appeared this afternoon on WVON radio, and said last year's income taxes "were too big at one time" -- so "I did an amendment to it and got on a payment plan."

The IRS apparently had a problem with that payment plan, since it placed a lien on Stroger's home until he pays the amount owed.  Experts say a lien is not place on anyone's home until two or three notices from the IRS go unanswered.

But Stroger said people shouldn't let that color their opinion of him.

"I'm an honest man just trying to help people," he said.

Stroger said he's paying what's owed and is not avoiding that responsibility.

The timing of the personal tax embarrassment came at the same time he's been defending his sales tax hike, saying that without it, health care for the poor would be impacted.

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