Arrest warrant awaits Plax...
Arrest warrant awaits for Plaxico's return....anyone surprised?
By David Conti
Friday, May 27, 2005
Plaxico Burress skipped out on his tax bill when he traded in his black and gold jersey for New York Giants blue, a collection agency says.
A district judge in Coraopolis Thursday issued an arrest warrant for the former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver because he failed to appear at a hearing on the delinquent tax claim.
Burress will not be tracked down in New York -- where he's now training with the Giants -- but could be arrested and fined $2,500 if and when he returns to this state, said District Judge Mary Murray.
Burress did not file returns or pay the combined 1 percent annual wage tax to Moon and the Moon Area School District when he lived there, according to a criminal complaint filed by Keystone Municipal Collections of White Oak.
The complaint does not state how much Burress owes. Keystone attorney Tom Kratzenberg wrote in the complaint that Burress owes taxes for 1998 through 2002, although the first-round draft pick did not leave Michigan State to sign with the Steelers until 2000. Kratzenberg refused to explain the discrepancy, saying his agency does not comment on private complaints.
Burress bought a townhouse in Washington's Landing in the North Side in 2002 and sold his Moon residence in 2003.
Burress could owe Moon and the school district more than $90,000 in taxes for 2000, 2001 and 2002. The Steelers paid Burress about $15.17 million during his five years with the team ($8.67 million in salary and a $6.5 million bonus). If Burress lived in Moon during his first three seasons with the team and was paid about three-fifths of his salary and bonus, he received taxable income of $9.1 million. A 1 percent tax would yield a tax bill of $91,000, excluding any interest and penalties. That total also excludes any outside income Burress might have had.
A woman who answered the phone at Burress' Washington's Landing home hung up on a reporter yesterday. Burress' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined to comment.
Burress signed a six-year, $25 million contract with the Giants in March and since then has been training in New York and Miami. Giants spokesman Peter John-Baptiste declined to comment on the arrest warrant.
Burress was supposed to appear before Murray on Wednesday for a hearing on Keystone's claim. The company collects delinquent taxes for Moon and the school district.
Al Bennett, the director of financial and school services for the district, said he could not comment on Burress' case. He said the collection company can review taxpayers' state income tax returns to determine whether they should have filed local returns.
Moon and the school district split the revenue from the annual 1 percent wage tax. Bennett said the school district expects to collect more than $2.6 million from the tax next year.