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Miller’s taxes, Murkowski’s bar exam
at issue in Alaska senate race
by Chris Freiberg and Jeff Richardson /

Fairbanks Daily News Miner

10.07.10 - 08:25 pm
FAIRBANKS — Sen. Lisa Murkowski slammed Republican nominee Joe Miller on Thursday for being a month late in paying his property taxes.

Miller and his wife owe $1,086.23 on vacant property they own in the Rosie Creek area, according to the Fairbanks North Star Borough’s records.

Property taxes are due July 1 or can be paid in two installments on Sept. 1 and Nov. 1. If not paid next month, the Millers face a 10 percent penalty plus interest.

“It is odd that Joe Miller, a candidate who wants states to have to assume a host of costly administrative burdens, from managing unemployment insurance benefits to education aid, is so careless about paying for local government services,” Murkowski campaign spokesman Steve Wackowski said in a statement. “For a candidate who is so opposed to federal assistance to help keep state and local tax rates low, it is odd that he is denying local government the means to afford to assume the burdens he wants placed on them and local taxpayers,” the statement read.

Miller campaign spokesman Randy DeSoto said the campaign is still looking into the matter.

“Obviously, it will be rectified immediately,” DeSoto said.

According to the borough treasurer’s office, the borough does not begin keeping track of how many people are late on their property taxes until next month.

Murkowski’s bar exam trouble

Of the many similarities between Murkowski and Miller that have been reported this year, one of the lesser known facts is how they each became lawyers.

Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News last week that she didn’t pass the Alaska bar exam until her fifth try.

The multiple choice portion of the test gave Murkowski particular trouble until she took a preparatory course in Oregon offered by PMBR, Murkowski said.

She was so impressed by the course that she went on to be the company’s representative in Alaska for several years after that, according to the Daily News.

On the other end of the spectrum, Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto said the Fairbanks attorney and Yale Law School graduate was able to pass the bar exam on his first try in 1995.