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Broome DA Candidate Paul Battisti Owes IRS More Than $86K

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Broome County District Attorney Candidate Paul Battisti owes the IRS over $86,000 in back taxes, according to Broome County Clerk records.

Two Federal Tax Liens from the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) show agency is trying to collect Form 1040 taxes from 2014, 2015, and 2016. The name on those liens is Francis P Battisti, Paul Battisti's legal name.

In a document prepared in September 2017, the IRS issued a claim “on all property and rights to property belonging to this taxpayer” for the amount of $46,130. A separate lien, filed with the county clerk’s office on June 7, 2018, shows $8,984 in unpaid taxes from 2015 and $31,832 from 2016.

Battisti acknowledges the back taxes, saying he’s been enrolled in a payment plan for “quite some time" and is working to pay them off. 

Like many business owners, I opted to enter into a payment plan for my taxes. I make monthly payments on a set schedule.

— Paul Battisti, Broome County District Attorney Candidate

Battisti previously had state tax liens, which have been paid. One state tax lien was in his name, while another was filed by the New York State Department of Labor against his law practice at the time, Battisti, Gartenman, & Thayne PC.

The 39-year-old has been practicing law for 14 years, primarily taking on cases as a criminal defense lawyer and is the chair of GHS Federal Credit Union's Board of Directors. Battisti was the first to announce his intent to run as District Attorney mere hours after current DA Steve Cornwell told the media he would not be seeking re-election. Battisti is running against fellow republican Michael Korchak, who is Cornwell's Chief Assistant DA. 

“It’s shameful that my opponent, Mike Korchak, is peddling these types of misleading personal attacks rather than talking about how to make Broome County safer,” says Battisti.

Fox 40 did not receive information about the back taxes from Korchak or his campaign. When we reached out for comment, Korchak was unavailable, but a spokesperson issued the following statement.

We are shocked and deeply concerned at this development, as are a number of Republican leaders, officials, and voters with whom we've been in contact in the past few days.  Chief Assistant DA Mike Korchak will be available for comment as more of the facts relating to Mr. Battisti's federal tax liens are brought to light.

— Spokesperson for Michael Korchak's campaign

“Korchak should know that these types of payment plans are common for business owners. In fact, public records showed that his boss, the current District Attorney Steve Cornwell, did the same thing,” says Battisti.

It’s not illegal to owe money to the government and run for public office, in fact, as Battisti points out, Steve Cornwell had federal tax liens from the years he was also in private practice law, as well as numerous state liens. All of those have been paid back. The last of Cornwell's federal tax liens were paid off in 2017. The largest amount Cornwell owed the federal government in back taxes was $9,578 combined from the 2004, 2005, and 2006 tax years.

PDFs of Battisti's Federal Tax Liens are below. Move your cursor into the PDF to scroll to page 2 of the liens.