[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/06/art.getty.palin.jpg caption="Palin received per diem payments even though she was staying in her own home."](CNN) - Alaska officials have told Gov. Sarah Palin she must pay back taxes on the thousands of dollars she received in state per diem funds while living at her home in Wasilla.
The Washington Post first reported last September that Palin had billed the state for nearly $17,000 worth of meals and other living expenses while staying in her own home during the first 19 months of her administration, even though the official governor’s residence is in Juneau.
The news clouded Palin’s self-styled image as a small government reformer, just weeks after she was tapped as John McCain’s running mate. At the time, Palin’s office said the governor was entitled to the payments.
Alaska administration commissioner Annette Kreitzner told the Anchorage Daily News on Tuesday that the governor’s office had asked the office to review the tax treatment of the per diem payments after questions about the funds were raised.
Kreitzner told the paper that following the review, the per diem payments will be treated as income and that a revised W-2 statement will be sent to the governor.
Palin’s office would not say how much she owes in back taxes, or if she would continue to receive the payments.
UPDATE: Palin spokesman Bill McAllister tells CNN that Palin "will abide by all IRS regulations and rulings and will pay what she owes. That number, though, is not a matter of public record."
Post updated 3:02 p.m. EST