PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Political accusations are flying tonight.
Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess is being called a tax scofflaw and a hypocrite, but Burgess says he’s the target of a political witch hunt.
It’s all over several thousand dollars Burgess owes in back taxes.
The money owed by Councilman Burgess was found online by Lucille Prater-Holliday of Homewood.
“It’s a slap in the face to everyone in the district that struggles every day here and has been struggling for generations,” she said.
A records check on the city and county website shows Burgess owes more than $4,000 in back taxes and that some of the taxes haven’t been paid for several years.
“You have a responsibility to pay your taxes on time annually,” Prater-Holliday said.
Burgess said he believes it is a politically-motivated attack against him generated at the City-County building.
“Because of my position to advocate for low and moderate income families, there would be retribution,” he said.
Burgess is convinced his tax problems were outed by angry City Council members who want him out.
“My family, my wife and my children – we are prepared for these vicious attacks,” he said. “We know they are coming.”
Less than an hour after the KDKA Investigators contacted Councilman Burgess about his delinquent tax bills, records show the councilman paid all of his taxes in full – more than $4,400.
Burgess says the payment had nothing to do with the media contact.
“Like many people in Pittsburgh, my wife and I are making choices – financial choices in these tough difficult economic times,” he said.
Meantime, Lucille Prater-Holliday isn’t buying it and says this incident has her convinced to run for City Council against Ricky Burgess in the next election.