What Mayor Kim’s Tax Problems Tell Us

Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim has become the subject of approximately $6,000.00 in penalties levied on him by the state of New York.  These penalties were the result of his failure to file the appropriate tax reports with the New York State Department of Taxation.

The Warrant

This is a “warrant” issued against the law offices of Ronald Kim by the New York State Department of Taxation on December 16,2021 and registered with Saratoga County.   

A warrant allows the state to place liens on Mayor Kim’s properties and even to garnish his wages.

According to the warrant, the state began levying fines against Kim for failure to file required forms beginning in July of 2019 up to September of 2020.

A Totally Avoidable Blunder

The warrant indicates that from July of 2019 to September of 2020, Mayor Kim’s law office failed to submit tax form NYS-45.  This form is to report quarterly withholding, Wage Reporting, and Unemployment Insurance.

During the last campaign, it was reported that Mr. Kim had failed also to pay his workman’s comp insurance and owed $7,000.00.  Kim defended himself by asserting that during the period he had no employees and so, according to him, he was not required to maintain insurance.  He called it a “misunderstanding” that he planned to address.

I will accept that during this period he did not have any employees although it seems odd that a law office would not have even a secretary.  The problem is that unless notified otherwise, New York State assumes that if you have been withholding taxes during the previous quarter that you still have employees and must continue to report your withholding and other tax-related obligations.

If you do not submit NYS-45 or advise the state that you no longer have employees, then there is an automatic penalty.  In this case, it is $1000.00 per quarter plus accrued penalty interest.

Kim failed to submit this form for over a year despite notices that the tax department would have been sending him.

So, all Mr. Kim had to do to avoid penalties was to notify state taxation that he no longer had employees. One has to wonder why he didn’t just notify the state to avoid all of this.

As of this blog post March 11, 2022, the warrant has not been satisfied so it can be assumed that he has neither paid the fines nor resolved the basis of the problem in consultation with the New York State Department of Taxation. It is also unclear whether Mayor Kim is continuing to rack up more fines.

It is worth noting also that the warrant refers to “last known address.”  In this case, it was an address that he had vacated back in 2016.  It may be that since 2016, some five years, the New York State Tax Department has not known how to contact him if he never notified them of a change of address.

What this tells us

Mayor Kim’s record in office has been a continued series of errors and mismanagement.

For an attorney, he seems especially indifferent to record-keeping, and inconvenient laws that might interfere with something he wants to do. The city has many dedicated staff with years of experience that should be a vital resource but the reports I hear from city hall are that his office operates in a sort of siege mentality.

As an example of his obliviousness, consider his promise made at the March 1, 2022, City Council meeting. At that meeting, he announced that he would be holding a public hearing in order to adopt the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) which he erroneously claimed had not been done appropriately due to errors by the last administration. He announced that he would be posting the document the next day (March 2, 2022) that would be the subject of the hearing.

As of today March 11, I have been unable to locate the document on the city’s website. An email to the Mayor asking for the name of the document and where it is located on the city website has gone unanswered.

This is a fundamental failure not only to live up to a public promise, but it undermines the fundamentals of transparency that are central to the democratic process.

The reality is that this is simply another example of his indifference to his obligations. It seems that Mayor Kim simply ignores inconvenient truths or, as in the case with his court fiasco, he blames others for what are clearly his own missteps. Unfortunately for the city, he seems to live in some kind of alternate reality.

4 thoughts on “What Mayor Kim’s Tax Problems Tell Us”

  1. I am pretty sure our founders would be turning over in their graves at the current administrative state. This notion of levying penalties and assessing guilt or innocence via executive decree seems to run afoul of the whole concept of separation of powers and the intent of the seventh amendment.

    Not only that, but is this penalty proportionate to the infraction? I hardly think so. Five thousand dollars plus interest? If the state is owed money because of unpaid just taxes, I understand the action, however, procedural violations like this are really unjust. Ron Kim, just like any other small business owner found out that it is too expensive to have employees.

    You have to force the State to use the U.S. Constitutional legal system – otherwise you end up with an administrative tyranny rife with corruption. The State should be forced to file a civil lawsuit if it thinks it is owed money – that would get rid of nuisance violations that are almost impossible to dispose of without expert legal council costing tens of thousands of dollars.

    While it seems that Ron Kim might have some organizational and bookkeeping issues, I certainly see this from the side of a business owner.

    The State should open up the office buildings for public tours so you can see what an unhealthy dysfunctional place it is.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seventh_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

    Like

  2. Mayor Kim is a scofflaw, period. He is a trained lawyer. He knows what his responsibilities are. His actions in carrying out his mayoral duties show him to be irresponsible and untrustworthy.

    Like

    1. This is a pure ad hominem attack.

      I pose the following to the readers of this board: If someone is convicted of a crime because a police officer planted evidence, this is cause for reversal of the conviction. Not only that, but the entire arrest and court testimony from the entire career of the police officer is grounds for reversal of all convictions based upon his or her actions.

      Now, we had a guy by the name of Sheldon Silver leading the New York State Assembly and passing laws for twenty years. Do you think a lot of New York State law is corrupted because he tainted it? My answer would be ‘yes’.

      This is why it is important to rely on the US Constitution and Common Law principles as opposed to Civil Law principles because it allows the judicial branch to compensate for the corrupt legislature and bloated executive.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheldon_Silver

      Liked by 1 person

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