Income tax-delinquent FCC employees owe more than $1 million

Published: 1:49 AM 07/16/2012

Tech Editor

WASHINGTON, DC – DECEMBER 01: U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski speaks to the media on the importance of net neutrality December 1, 2010 at the headquarters of the FCC in Washington, DC. Genachowski outlined a framework for broadband internet service providers that would prohibit them from blocking or limiting lawful online content. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

While President Obama repeats his campaign talking point about high-income private sector employees allegedly not paying their “fair share” in taxes, many government employees at the Federal Communications Commission have failed to pay what they already owe under current tax law.

The Daily Caller has obtained a July 13 letter from Rep. Marsha Blackburn to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in which the Tennessee Republican wrote that according to Internal Revenue Service data, FCC employees’ income tax delinquency rate rose from 2.74 percent to 3.88 percent from 2008 to 2010. During that same period, she added, unpaid federal income taxes owed by the agency’s staff rose from $544,917 to $1,084,544.

And according to a May 2 memo sent by FCC Chief Human Capital Officer Bonita Tingley to all agency employees, also obtained by TheDC, “the IRS reported that as of September 30, 2011, 3.59 percent of FCC employees had some type of Federal income tax delinquency.” That rate was down only slightly from the 2010 figure.

“Overall,” Tingley disclosed, “the average delinquency rate for civilian employees of Federal agencies and departments was 3.6 percent.”

The FCC’s website discloses that it presently has 1,993 employees. In 2010 the business intelligence website Hoovers reported that the agency employed 1,930 people. That works out to 75 FCC staffers owing Uncle Sam an average of $14,483 each in unpaid income taxes

The number of those FCC employees earning salaries of $150,000 or more rose from 46 in 2008 to 431 in 2009, and then again to 535 in 2011.

Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart noted this FCC salary shift during a March 19 House appropriations subcommittee hearing — the same hearing during which he questioned Genachowski about the agency’s lack of transparency with respect to large numbers of Freedom of Information Act requests. (RELATED: FOIA data suggests FCC more secretive than CIA)

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