Business groups support estate taxes
Cost of not reforming health care

'Flying the Perk Skyway'

Perhaps South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, the famous fake hiker of the Appalachian Trail, can use this post's headline as his latest euphemism.

Sanford has my permission to employ it as a way to explain his use of state planes for personal and political trips.

In addition to being bad form, such travels could pose state and federal tax problems since the flights never were recorded as taxable fringe benefits.

The Associated Press examined more than 100 flights taken by Sanford since 2003. The wire service then asked two tax experts to review its analysis, which shows nine flights since 2008 alone could be worth $19,019 in taxable benefits.

The tax experts told the AP that numerous trips by Sanford could have triggered IRS rules that require adding the value of flights to the governor's wages, making them subject to taxes.

Troubling tax avoidance trend: What is the deal with governors and personal travel on the state dime? Is there an entitlement clause in state constitutions?

In addition to the Sanford flights, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich spent $225,000 of his state's money on non-business flights.

And "Going Rogue" could also be applied to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's trips on which she brought her children. Palin settled an ethics charge related to the travel with a promise to pay any back taxes.

Related posts:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.