Rep. Josh Harder (D–Tracy) has thousands of dollars stored in the Cayman Islands despite calling on the government to stop the rich from dodging taxes.
Politico first reported the story.
The big picture: According to his 2022 financial disclosures, Harder has between $15,000 and $50,000 of BVA Fund IX and between $1,000 and $15,000 of BVA Fund VIII, both of which are with Bessemer Venture Associates.
- The Pitchbook profile for those funds says that they are domiciled in the Cayman Islands.
- Harder also earned between $5,000 and $15,000 in 2022 from his investment in BVA Fund IX.
- Both investments come from when Harder worked for Bessemer Venture Partners before he was elected.
The backstory: Harder’s stance on the wealthy dodging their taxes has been clear. In 2021 he put out a press release saying if the wealthiest 25 Americans paid as much as an average family, California could end its homelessness crisis.
- Just a couple weeks ago Harder took to X to call on Congress to make it harder for billionaires to dodge taxes.
- That followed a post from 2021 echoing a similar sentiment.
What they’re saying: Harder’s office told Politico that he has no control of where the funds are located.
- “Rep. Harder has never bought, sold, or traded a single stock while in office,” Harder spokesperson Jen Fox said in a statement. “He has no control over funds from his old career and has never and will never take a dime of corporate PAC money. Josh will continue being a leader for campaign finance reform including banning members from ever trading stocks or accepting corporate PAC money.”
- But the issue is providing fuel for his Republican opponent, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln.
- “I have lived a life of service to our country and community,” Lincoln said. “It pains me to see that Josh Harder has chosen to hide his wealth in the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes as hardworking Valley residents struggle to make ends meet, put food on the table, and cope with the rising inflation caused by his consistent votes for Joe Biden’s policies. Our valley deserves leadership in Washington that puts the needs of the people first and prioritizes the well-being of our community over their own personal gains.”
- National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesperson Ben Petersen added, “The scam that is Josh Harder pretending he serves the Central Valley instead of just himself is over. Josh Harder must immediately dump his Cayman Island accounts and apologize to Valley families for enriching himself at their expense.”