Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has repeatedly been late to pay taxes on personal property items and real estate in recent years, records reviewed by NBC News showed.
Just last week, Manchin paid off nearly $700 he owed to Marion County, West Virginia, in back taxes accrued over the past three years on a pontoon boat and multiple trailers. In 2020, he made nearly $630 in back tax payments to the county for taxes he owed on cars, boats and trailers from 2016, 2017 and 2018.
“Like most West Virginians, Senator Manchin has always paid every tax bill he’s received in full and any lapse in payment has been quickly rectified as soon as he has been made aware,” a Manchin spokesperson said in a statement to NBC News.
At times, the late payments, which were detailed in records stretching back to 2009, were made within days of their due dates. Others were made months, if not years, later. In some cases, fines or other accumulated interest payments were attached to them.
“Joe Manchin voted to raise West Virginians’ taxes with the so-called Inflation Reduction Act but refuses to pay his own,” National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Tate Mitchell said in a statement. “Manchin is a complete hypocrite.”
Marion County Clerk Julie Kincaid, a Democrat, said the late payments were “tremendously overblown,” pointing to the small amount of money he owed.
“I’m pretty sure this is something that just has not been brought to his attention or merely slipped off the radar,” she said. “It’s probably one of those mountain-out-of-a-molehill situations. I mean, I get it, he’s very high-profile.”
Manchin potentially faces a brutal re-election campaign, though he has not yet committed to running for another term in the Senate. If he does run, he is likely to face GOP Gov. Jim Justice or GOP Rep. Alex Mooney.
Manchin is not alone in having tax issues arise.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, along with his wife, journalist Connie Schultz, was late paying the tax bill on their Cleveland home seven times since they bought it in 2013, according to documents kept by the Cuyahoga County treasurer and reviewed by NBC News this year. Responding to questions, his campaign manager, Rachel Petri, said Brown and Schultz had just paid a $390 penalty stemming from their most recent late payment.
Like Manchin, Brown is locked in a tough re-election battle that is a top pickup target for Republicans.
Meanwhile, soon after Justice launched his Senate campaign in May, the Justice Department sued his coal business empire seeking more than $5 million in unpaid environmental fines and other overdue fees. That followed a federal appeals court’s ruling in April that his companies must pay $2.5 million in fines issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Justice’s campaign manager, Roman Stauffer, did not address the substance of the lawsuit in a statement after the Justice Department’s action, saying it had come about only because Democrats were “panicking” over his polling.