The Rev. Al Sharpton said a front-page New York Times report saying that he and his nonprofit organization owed more than $4 million in state and federal taxes was “misleading and totally out of context,” and told reporters his organization actually owed about $800,000.
Sharpton said he was not sure how much he personally owed because it was still being negotiated, and questioned why the issue was raised now, suggesting it was motivated in part by hostility toward Bill de Blasio and Barack Obama.
In a 30-minute press conference at his Harlem office which ended with him abruptly walking out on a roomful of reporters, Sharpton said, “The National Action Network’s tax debt as of December of 2013 was a little over $400,000. ...On that, they want $400,000 in penalties. The board’s position at our national convention was that why should we have to pay 100 percent if we can knock it down. But we continued to pay the monthly installment while we did.”
Asked about the combined amount in taxes that he and his organization owed—$4.5, million according to the Times— Sharpton said, “How could I owe what you originally owed in 2008. Then that would have meant we paid none of the installments and that we didn’t put up the $1 million that everybody reported.”