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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Troy Kelley's State Taxes Become Behind-The-Scenes Issue In Trial

Washington Legislature
Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley is on trial on charges of money laundering and tax evasion.

Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley’s trial enters its fourth week Monday. As prosecutors continue to mount their case, a behind-the-scenes fight has emerged over Kelley’s payment of taxes to the state of Washington and whether that’s relevant to this federal case.

Prosecutors want to show that Kelley failed to pay state Business and Occupation taxes on more than $3 million in homeowner fees. Kelley has said that’s money he earned while operating a real estate services business in the 2000s. The government says Kelley illegally pocketed that money.

Prosecutors want to call an official from the Washington state Department of Revenue to testify about what taxes Kelley’s company did or did not pay. Kelley’s defense team wants to exclude that testimony and any evidence relating to state taxes.

In a motion to the court, the defense says: “the government has failed to identify a scintilla of competent evidence to prove what state taxes, if any” Kelley’s company should have paid.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."