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. Alicia

    BRAVO CNN. You are reporting that all individuals can have tax issues. You are reporting that no matter what party someone is in, they may have problems. I find it refreshing that I can read that stuff happens and does not mean the party the person is affiliated with is bad. Kind of like you parent 2 children and 1 goes bad.

    I loved the article on the Indians in Alaska that are barely getting by, while Governor Palin is symbolic of our now economic crisis. The Wall Street and connected politicians with money, like McCain, Romney and Paulsen enjoy excess while the rest of us suffer.

    Alaska must be fedup by now.

    February 18, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. J

    DAMN !!!! -– Both Democrats AND Republicans seem seem to be in tax trouble.

    February 18, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. jaye

    Palin is no reformer – she's just another tax cheat.
    Make her repay the money plus fines and fees.

    February 18, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Maggie

    Now why do I not think CNN is at it again to smear the Republicans and sepsecially Sarah Palin. God forbid she must be very dangerous to CNN and the Dems. Why doesn't CNN look deeper into the garbage can and find something else to tattle about. Sarah Palin should no more have to pay taxes that thet fellow that Obama chose and he dodged taxs for years. Is that how the government is going to refill theer coffers so thay can go on vacation spas?

    February 18, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Happy with new President

    Wow, almost $1000 monthly for meals? Did she paid rent to herself, or to Todd?

    February 18, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. James

    LOLOLOL, this lady will do anything FOR HER SELF...
    Who is she palling around with!

    February 18, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  7. J

    DAMN !!!! Both Repubs AND Demos are having tax trouble.

    February 18, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. sherry

    Wow I guess it doesn't matter what party your affiliated with.......

    Everyone is supposed to pay their taxes....No one is above the law.

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

    February 18, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Melissa

    Somehow I'm not surprised.

    February 18, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. Jeez

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    February 18, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. J

    Funny thing ---

    February 18, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Franky

    You see, even Gov Palin does her own thang, LOL!! That's hot...

    This is for you Gov...compliments of Abba.

    "Don't go wasting your emotions...lay all your love on me..."

    February 18, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Ron , West Coast

    This woman will do anything to stay in the news.....

    February 18, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. carol

    Put 21st racism away please.

    Mccain and Palin lost.........Time to focus on President and what he is trying to do!

    February 18, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. JPM

    Okay – now I expect Republican outrage at McCain for not "vetting" Palin properly...start calling McCain unprepared to take office, question is abilities...and everybody should demonize Palin for not paying taxes and having the gall to run for office – whats good for Democrats is good for Republicans right?

    February 18, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. Frank Lee

    Aw, come on – cut her some slack.

    It's not like she's trying to grab headlines or get noticed by the media.

    She avoids the spotlight and hates to be the center of attention.

    This is just plain cruel.

    February 18, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. D-MI

    What? No Republitards jumping up and down, screaming about politicians who don't pay taxes? No foaming at the mouth? No indignant outrage?

    On might get the impression that they only have something to say after someone else says it on am radio...

    OH! Dittoheads! I get it now!

    February 18, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. I Am Repub

    Audit all govt. workers. Dose anyone in our govt. pay taxes?

    February 18, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Tulsa L

    Well well, whats good for the Goose is good for the Gander.........she must pay her taxes just like the rest of us.......I hope they will follow up to make sure she did..........when my husband goes on the road for a company to do work out of state or in state, he is paid per diem and that covers the cost of his hotel room and meals ..........Palin was staying in her own home eating her own food, why should she be getting per diem? Now maybe gas mileage to drive back and forth OK, but not per diem............talk about how Democrats like to spend, well what do you think Palin is making her own State Government do..........these politicans all think that they desever all these special amminities...........they DON'T

    February 18, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Shari, NY

    Palin and her family seem to be in CNN news every day. Of all the storeis I have read this one truly deserves ticker status. The fact that the amount of taxes owed is a "private matter" leaves one to imagine the magnitude.

    February 18, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. ben


    This is great Headline for FOX News after the interview with Bristol Palin.

    When will our elected officials learn to respect the law?

    February 18, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Kona Kim

    Once again, Palin demostrates that she is a hypocrite. She is not a reformer and has no business in national politics. She takes money from her state for per diem while she is living at home?? It sounds like she broke the law, not to mention not reporting the income on her taxes. After all of this is revealed, I bet she will have a hard time even getting re-elected as governor of AK. NO MORE "C" STUDENTS, please! She knows nothing, she needs to fade away.

    February 18, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. James, Ho. TX

    Palin does not qualify for "Sect. of Commerce" ! ech, Back Taxes, etc.

    February 18, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Mike in Columbus

    Where's all the reform we heard so much about? Maverick this, and outsider that... hmmmm... Guess not...

    February 18, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Veteran in Kansas

    This is a no braner, what in the world was she thinking. She would be entitiled to moving expenses and per diem during the move, maybe, depending on how the Alaskan rules are written for a new governor moving in, but not for 19 months.

    Amount of taxes owed a private individual might fall into a private matter, but taxes owed on a senior governmental official, appointed, elected, promoted as we have so amply wittnessed over the years are far from a private matter.

    February 18, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
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