Company Founded By Ocasio-Cortez In 2012 Still Owes $1,870 In Taxes — New York State Slapped the Company with a Warrant
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants to pass sweeping tax hikes on the wealthy, but the freshman lawmaker might want to take care of her own unpaid tax bill first.
Brook Avenue Press, a company she founded in 2012 to publish children’s books in The Bronx, owes the state $1,870.36 in corporate taxes, public records show.
The state slapped the company with a warrant on July 6, 2017, two months after Ocasio-Cortez announced her candidacy to run against Democratic incumbent Joe Crowley for the district that encompasses parts of Queens and The Bronx.
The state requires businesses to pay a corporation tax on a sliding scale based on revenue. The minimum payment last year was $25.
“The company probably got numerous letters from the state and probably ignored them,” one New York City accountant theorized.
Public records show the state dissolved the company in October 2016, which can happen when a business fails to pay corporate taxes or file a return.
The state Tax Department won’t comment on individual companies but typically files warrants as a last resort after trying to collect money.
“This is the first we’re hearing of it, and we won’t have any additional comment until we look into it,” Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesman, Corbin Trent, said Saturday.
Brook Avenue Press was set up to “develop and identify stories and literature in urban areas like New York, specifically communities like The Bronx,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a YouTube video posted in October 2011, months before she filed incorporation papers for the company in July 2012.
The company relied on cheap office space in a city-subsidized program to help small businesses in The Bronx.
Called the Sunshine Bronx Business Incubator, the program was housed in a renovated former printing plant in Hunts Point, where rates for office spaces and tech services in 2012 averaged between $99 for a “virtual office” and $275 per month for local start-ups.
Ocasio-Cortez was featured on the city’s website for the incubator, and The National Hispanic Institute named her a social entrepreneur in residence.
“You see a huge return on your investment here,” a 22-year-old Ocasio-Cortez told a reporter in July 2012. “People pay $500 an hour for consulting that we get for free by the water cooler.”
The tax warrant was issued to Brook Avenue Press at the incubator’s address on Garrison Avenue.
But despite her promise to work with “designers, artists and authors that really know the urban story and help develop stories for kids,” The Post could not find any books the publishing house produced.
Last week, Ocasio-Cortez signed on to a bill to tax stock trades and has previously called for a 70 percent tax on incomes over $10 million in order to help finance the Green New Deal, her environmental manifesto calling for “new national, social, industrial and economic mobilization” to save the planet.