Rep. Winfred Dukes among 3 House Democrats owing back taxes

Three House Democrats are among the 22 Georgia lawmakers delinquent on their taxes according to tax records obtained
Thursday by The Associated Press.

State Reps. Al Williams, Winfred Dukes and Roberta Abdul Salaam were listed in the Department of Revenue records as owing taxes. Williams and Dukes both said they have done nothing wrong. Williams, D-Midway, called the allegations he owed more than $42,000 in taxes "crap" and said his accountant concluded the state actually owes him $400. Dukes, D-Albany, said he sent a check for $828.70 Thursday morning. He called it a "misunderstanding" over unearned income
that wasn't reported. Salaam, a Riverdale Democrat who owes more than $600, was not at the Legislature Thursday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Senate is considering threatening lawmakers who don't pay their taxes on time with sanctions - or even dismissal - after a Department of Revenue report revealed 22 lawmakers from both chambers are delinquent on their tax bills. The other 19 names have not yet been revealed.

State Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham said Wednesday that nearly 10 percent of the Legislature's 236 lawmakers have run afoul of his department over unpaid taxes, some dating back six years. A total of 22 lawmakers are currently considered tax evaders by the revenue department. The three names released Thursday are for lawmakers who have already had action taken against them by revenue officials. The department said it cannot release the names of 19 other lawmakers who have failed to file state income tax returns. That list, with the names redacted, has been provided to legislative leaders who are trying to crack down on tax dodgers.

Graham said the names of those 19 lawmakers â" 16 in the House and 3 in the Senate â" cannot be released until the lawmakers have been served with official papers from the department and given time to respond.