DENVER – According to county records, AFL-CIO-backed school board candidate Ronda Scholting failed to pay the IRS nearly $10,000 in 2008. The Douglas County Education Alliance (DCEA) released the info via email earlier this week, and The Observer verified the information on Douglas County’s website.
DCEA says the tax debt underscores Scholting’s hypocrisy when it comes to the issue of taxes.
“Ronda Scholting doesn’t pay her own taxes, but she wants to raise yours?” read a DCEA email written by former Castle Rock Mayor Randy Reed.
In July, Scholting signed a petition (along with union candidates Julie Keim and Barbra Chase) in support of the ballot proposal known as Amendment 66. The initiative would increase state income taxes across-the-board to the tune of $1 billion.
The measure would hike the state income tax rate by 8 percent on income less than $75,000, and by 27 percent on income over $75,000.
Douglas County leaders have been critical of the measure because it would result in a net-outflow of approximately $50 million to other school districts.
“[Amendment 66] would cost Douglas County taxpayers between $90 million and $100 million dollars and our kids would only see a small fraction of that come back into DougCo classrooms– that’s a bad deal for our community,” school board member and tax hike opponent Doug Benevento recently told The Observer.
Amendment 66 enjoys the backing of Governor Hickenlooper and labor unions, but that hasn’t translated to public enthusiasm for the controversial tax hike plan. A recent poll suggested that just 35 percent of likely voters support the measure.
The IRS revelations are just the latest in a series of embarrassing missteps for Scholting and the other union-backed school board candidates in Douglas County.
Scholting was caught intentionally misleading voters by producing a doctored campaign ad — splicing together different parts of an 850 KOA radio interview to manufacture a fake sound bite that she then attributed to her opponent. Scholting quietly removed the ad from her Facebook site after KOA host Mike Rosen called Scholting out on air.
Another candidate on the union-backed slate, Julie Keim, recently came under fire for chasing a blogger after a forum for attempting to report on the event. Keim reportedly threatened to take legal action against the blogger, and demanded that she not be filmed or recorded.
This latest controversy underscores the fact that Scholting has become the union slate’s biggest liability.
According to county records, the tax lien was placed on Scholting’s property in 2008 by the IRS (under the name “Ronda L. Funchess”), for an amount of $9,993. Her husband, John Funchess, is also listed on the report.
“Here in Douglas County, we don’t appreciate politicians who say one thing and do another,” reads the rest of the DCEA email.
Scholting did not respond to repeated requests for comment.