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Tax-Hiking Dem Under Fire for Unpaid Taxes

Swing-district candidate Greg Landsman owes thousands in federal loans

Cincinnati councilman Greg Landsman (D.)
• July 15, 2022 4:59 am

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The state of Ohio is going after a tax-happy Democratic candidate for unpaid business taxes, according to court documents.

The state in March filed a tax lien against Greg Landsman, a Cincinnati councilman and Democratic candidate for a competitive House race, ordering him to pay interest on unpaid taxes he owes through his firm Landsman & Associates. But while Landsman struggles with tax delinquency, he voted over a four-year span on the Cincinnati City Council to raise taxes and fees at least eight times—even as he acknowledged that Ohio families were "struggling" with taxes.

The state taxes are not the only debt Landsman owes the government. His business in 2020 received a $16,647 Paycheck Protection Program loan that has not been paid or forgiven. The firm is owned entirely by Landsman and listed only one employee on its loan application. The loan went entirely to payroll, according to data provided by the Small Business Administration.

Landsman helped pass seven tax and fee increases in June 2018 alone, even though he acknowledged at the time that "the average homeowner is really struggling with their property taxes." The city councilman voted five months earlier to hike property taxes for city residents, citing the city's multimillion-dollar budget shortfalls. Landsman's Republican colleagues warned against the tax hike, which brought in $7 million for the city.

"We can't ask working-class families to keep footing the bill. They can't afford it," Councilman Jeff Pastor (R.) told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Dan Lusheck, a spokesman for the Ohio GOP, said Landsman's financial malfeasance would make him a perfect fit with Democrats in Washington, D.C.

"Greg Landsman, who has proven incapable of managing his own finances, would only perpetuate the economic disaster caused by Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden's inability to govern," Lusheck told the Washington Free Beacon.

As Democrats confront an unfavorable midterm election cycle, Landsman's history of left-wing proposals could be a liability for his campaign to win Ohio's First Congressional District. After national Democrats tapped the city councilman last year to challenge Rep. Steve Chabot (R.), Landsman has faced criticism over his proposals to eliminate cash bail and defund the city's police department budget in the wake of George Floyd's death. The Democrat's proposals came amid a surge of violent crime in the city.

The tax lien against Landsman & Associates is for $656 with an interest rate of 3 percent. Landsman's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee listed Ohio's First Congressional District as a top target in the midterms. Landsman, who ran uncontested in the state's May primary election, will face off against Chabot in November.