A Democratic candidate for the Arlington County Board owes more than $19,000 in back federal taxes and also had trouble paying local taxes in 2004 and 2005, according to documents obtained by Patch.
Melissa Bondi, 40, owes the IRS about $1,821 for 2005 and another $17,430 for 2006 – in all, about $19,252, according to a federal tax lien on file with the Arlington County Clerk of the Circuit Court's Office.
Bondi believes the lien is the result of a misunderstanding or error.
Once the matter is settled, the IRS will file a release with the local clerk's office.
An IRS spokesman said he could not comment on specific taxpayer information due to federal disclosure laws.
The tax lien was signed March 29, 2011; it was recorded in the local clerk's office on April 5, 2011.
Bondi is a civic activist, the project coordinator for the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and a member of the Arlington Economic Development Commission.
She sent the following statement to Patch via email Wednesday afternoon: "I was shocked and thoroughly concerned to learn via blog posts about a tax lien apparently filed against me several months ago for the tax years 2005 and 2006. I had no knowledge of this lien, and I believe this is either a misunderstanding between the IRS and me or an error on the part of the IRS. As soon as I learned about this issue, I began to take immediate action. I spent Monday, both on the phone and in person with IRS personnel, trying to find out as much as possible about this issue, and have formally requested copies of tax records IRS has for me and any correspondence the IRS may have sent. I am committed to learning exactly what led to this situation and am working diligently to ensure I am fully in good standing with the IRS."
Bondi, too, was twice late on her county taxes, according to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by a local civic activist.
Bondi paid her car taxes 14 days late in 2004, and paid them 53 days late in 2005 following a threat of seizure by the Treasurer's Office. The actual amount in those cases was not immediately available Wednesday.
"She paid basically after we threatened to seize her car," County Treasurer Frank O'Leary said. "That is not responsible conduct."
The county has no record of Bondi owning a car since February 2006, when it was reported sold, O'Leary said. But Bondi has said multiple times that she only gave up her car in 2008.
"Where's the other car? We have no record of another car," said O'Leary, who is supporting Terron Sims for the vacant seat on the county board. "She was delinquent, then all of a sudden she drops out of our world. She hasn't paid taxes to this county in more than five years."
O'Leary added: "She is a scofflaw and tax evader. If I sound a little angry about it, I am. She simply ignored us."
Local activist David North filed a Freedom of Information Act request with O'Leary's office inquiring about tax delinquency for all five Democratic candidates running in the special election for the Arlington County Board. O'Leary provided information from 2004 to the present.
Candidates Peter Fallon, Libby Garvey and Sims all made their payments in a timely matter, according to that document.
Candidate Kim Klingler was six days late in 2006 and one day late in 2007.
"She did good," O'Leary said. "She knew she made a mistake and corrected it quickly."
The Arlington County Democratic Committee will hold its caucus on Jan. 19 and 21. It is open to all registered voters in the county.