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IRS filed tax lien against Rep. Montoya, GOP whip

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In this file photo from June, House Minority Whip Rod Montoya, right, confers with another legislator during the 2020 special session. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE — The state Republican Party last week called on House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, to resign his leadership post after facing a federal tax lien earlier this year.

But a member of the House Republican leadership — Minority Whip Rod Montoya of Farmington — faced a bigger tax lien the previous year.

The Internal Revenue Serviced filed a notice in San Juan County a year ago claiming Montoya owed $44,850 in unpaid taxes over two years.

In a written statement Friday, Montoya said he will resolve the lien soon.

“This lien is the result of a career change a few years ago,” he said. “I have addressed the issue and it will be resolved soon.”

In a separate statement Friday, Republican Party Chairman Steve Pearce stood by his criticism of Egolf and didn’t directly respond to a question about whether Montoya should resign as minority whip. The two situations are different, Pearce said, because Montoya isn’t speaker of the House and he opposed 2019 legislation that increased some taxes.

Democratic Party Chairwoman Marg Elliston said Pearce “thought a minor tax technical error — that had already been resolved — merited resignation by a Democrat. If, however, Pearce has not yet called for the Minority Whip’s resignation, then I am eager to hear why he holds Republican legislative leaders to a different set of standards.”

Egolf’s lien was filed in February for $10,594. He said he had made a mistake while writing a check and didn’t realize he owed anything until notified of the lien, which he said he paid immediately.

 


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