February 18th, 2009
06:40 PM ET
12 years ago

Palin told to pay back taxes

[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

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (440 Responses)
  1. Dvan

    Got Milf?

    I'd hit it...

    February 18, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Classy 57

    This is not much of a story since Mrs. Palin asked for the amount she would owe on these amounts she received. What is more of a story and one that CNN has refused to delve in is the appointment of our Director of IRS who owed much more and was not about to pay any of it until Obama selected him for the position of IRS Director!!! This is worse than the fox guarding the coop - and anyone who has ever owed the IRS money wonders how this jerk got away without paying the taxes all those years.

    February 18, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Rhiannon

    She needs to pay back the whole 17,000. Per diem is only valid if you actually have to travel to your job.

    February 18, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Bill Jackman

    The problem with the per diem issue is what is not being stated. As the Governor, Sarah Palin (even when she is home) is feeding the people that travel with her. These added expenses are what a per diem is meant to cover.
    In most companies, when an employee receives a per diem it is not considered taxable income. What is working here is that the purple rage hatred of liberals now needs a new target with the retirement of Goerge Bush. Since Gov Palin is seen as a potential rival in the next election, their rabid-dog hatred will continue to center on her.

    February 18, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. B

    The issue is that she took the per diem to start with. She lives in a welfare state. Doesn't every Alaskan expect the state government to pay their living expenses?

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  6. LIZ

    I cannot stand this woman! anybody that thought she was honest shoulda thought about the over the top cost of her makeover..duh?
    she's as crooked as the rest of them! we ALL work to support politicians & government employees, at all levels. We're the "serfs" of this century...wake up people...2 sets of rules..2 groups of people..workers & takers.

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. Joan , Ontario

    Tom Daschle owed taxes because he drove a car that a friend let him use and because of this he was unable to take the head Health post where everyone said he would have done an exceptional job. Apparently he had excellent qualifications to run this post and would have helped the American people immensely. It seems it is the American people who have lost out. Sarah Palin owes taxes and was told about this last year but has not paid them. Meanwhile it has been reported that many people in her state are starving, living in poverty and seem to have no hope. Yet she criticized the stimulus plan which would have given her state money for much needed help. what is going on? Why is there a double standard for Republicans?

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Revluc

    WOW...the best you left idiots can up with is:

    "Why isn't this on Faux News"

    Her tax bill is far smaller than anyone Barry vetted for his cabinet.

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. butterflycrying

    I understand per Diem, but she CHOSE to live in a private residence when she was given a place to live, therefore she should not be entitled to anything, and should in my opinion have to pay it back. Per Diem is the money that one recieves when work forces them away from home. The Military gets Per Diem for working in Iraq, albiet it is nothing like what she recieved. She was not being forced away from her home,

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Ghost

    Sophia, that is not the point. The point is that she was taking her per diem for travel while she was at home. And not only for herself, but for her kids. I'm sorry, but that is beyond not paying taxes. I call that theft, plain and simple. Making her pay taxes on it is giving her a pretty big break that the average Joe would not be able to enjoy.

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. elliott

    This is news because she is a republican. If she were a democrat.....it would be the norm.....*Yawn*...........

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. Michael in Little Rock

    "I wonder what the "they can do no wrong rightwing" will say about this"

    You can be sure that it will be something about Bill Clinton or Tim Geithner or some other Democrat, even though that's not the topic of conversation. That's SOP for people like that; they're seasoned professionals at ignoring the log in their own eye.

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Amy a DEM in TN

    in response to Sophia – Per Diem is a 'travel expense' not a 'stay in your own home expense'

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Sandi

    Perdiem is NOT legitimate if she was staying at home!

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. JIMCT

    You mean you have to PAY YOUR TAXES and try to Govern a State?


    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Seth

    Oh, all you idiots talking about fox news, where was CNN's mention that Bernie Madoff was a huge DEMOCRAT supporter?

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. Judy

    I wonder if the good taxpaying citizens of Alaska are also unknowingly paying Sarah's utlity bills?

    All politicians are self serving and greedy. But I don't know of any more outrageously obvious as Gov. Palin.

    Where have all the statemen gone?

    February 18, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. Ken Sawyer

    I think CNN should leave for "moderation" this story as they do most conservative comments. It has already been exhibited in the last month or so tax matters for government inductees or whether you pay them do not enter into the picture unless you are serving an active sentence.

    February 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  19. jace


    February 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  20. Can't find it....

    LOL)))) This story is no where to be found on Drudge neither....Hold on I have to get off the floor for laughing too hard! Wow!!!

    February 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  21. Mark

    But it's Mavericky to not pay The Man

    February 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  22. Kyle, CA

    Sweet deal, can someone pay me for spending the night in my home. Let's see I've been in my home for seven years, so that 2,555 nights times the per diem in my city. Sweet deal, Palin. I love it.

    February 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. scottmn

    Classic Palin doublespeak. She's no more a 'maverick' than any other politition on the public dole.

    February 18, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Jim

    How do you spell "hypocrite"? If she's a leader in the Republican Party, they're really in trouble!

    February 18, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. Proud American

    Wow, not only is she a village Idiot but a tax cheat? Dear God what is the world coming to?

    February 18, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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