Robert Redford sues to get his $1.6 million back from the Fair Share pot in NY
posted at 9:21 pm on August 6, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham
People like Redford claim the way to make America work better is to pass laws forcing people like them to pay more in taxes. Then, the state of New York forces Redford to pay more in taxes, and my does that tune change.
Actor Robert Redford is suing the state of New York for what he says are unfair taxes from the sale of the Sundance Channel.
Mr. Redford, a Utah resident, sued the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in Albany County Supreme Court on July 30, claiming that he’s being doubly taxed on money his company made when it sold off its portion of the channel in 2005, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
New York is taxing the actor-director $845,066 plus $727,404 in interest owed — roughly $1.57 million — for the money he made in the sale, but Mr. Redford said he already paid taxes on the revenue in Utah.
Imagine how many wind farm subsidies this could fund! Or, film festivals! Look, I have no particular desire to see Redford’s income taxed twice, but I am not an activist for the ideology that loves the estate tax and refuses to recognize that when, say, Mitt Romney pays a lower effective tax rate on income from dividends, it’s partly because that income has already been taxed once.
Further, being that Redford likely falls into the ultra-rich category that would theoretically be made to pay more taxes under the fanciful Buffett Rule President Obama suggested but never had a plan for passing, why not just consider this his fair share tax? He and his super-rich, ideological brethren have been sitting around waiting for the government to force them to pay more, and New York has obliged Mr. Redford. He should count himself lucky.
More on the details of the tax dispute:
In the lawsuit filed last week, Redford’s attorney claims the actor paid the proper taxes in his home state of Utah. The Sundance Channel is a limited liability company registered in New York, but Redford’s stake in the company was through what is known as an “S corporation,” which requires shareholders to claim losses or gains on their income-tax returns.
Perhaps Redford thinks he could better forward the causes of environmentalism and the arts with his $1.6 million instead of the state. If so, I say join the club. He’s less detestably hypocritical than Michael Moore and the Rev. Al Sharpton on this issue, at least. To bolster his case, Redford cites something called the New York State Constitution, according to the Washington Times, so perhaps we can hope he’ll be reading other founding documents to inform his other policy preferences in the future.