IRS hits Cox with lien over $145k in unpaid income taxes

Congressman TJ Cox (D–Fresno) is, once again, in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service.

Cox owes nearly $145,000 in unpaid federal income tax, according to a new report from McClatchy.

The IRS placed a new lien on Cox in late January, per records from the Fresno County Recorder’s Office.

The lien lists roughly $87,000 in unpaid federal income tax for 2016 and around $57,000 in unpaid income tax for 2017.

A representative from the Congressman’s re-election campaign told McClatchy that Cox is on a repayment plan to the tax agency.

Cox previously had a $48,000 lien placed on him for unpaid income taxes in 2015, which he paid in 2017.

Blaming “bureaucratic incompetence” in the midst of his 2018 campaign, Cox told The Mercury News that the check to pay his 2015 taxes was “stuck on the back of somebody else’s payment.”

Cox’s next-door neighbor, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–Bakersfield) fired his own shots at Cox following public exposure of the IRS lien.

The new lien comes midway through Cox’s first term in the House. In 2018, the Fresno engineer and entrepreneur ousted three-term Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) by hundreds of votes.

Cox and Valadao are likely headed for a rematch come November.

The freshman Democrat has faced multiple lawsuits during his short time in Congress, including one stemming from an allegation he defrauded investors of more than $150,000 in a mining equipment rental firm he operated.

That suit claimed that Cox maintained active involvement in his businesses long after he filed paperwork to divest from them.

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.