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THE WATCHDOGS: Rush often late paying taxes

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., the church he founded and leads and its social service affiliate have repeatedly failed to pay their taxes on time.

Records show that this year alone:

• Rush paid $21,000 in penalties, interest and delinquent property taxes on his home at 35th and Calumet. Some of the payments were five years overdue.

• The Illinois Department of Revenue filed a lien in September against Rush and his wife, Carolyn Rush, seeking payment of $5,757 for personal state income taxes and penalties from 2009, 2010 and 2011.

• Rush is behind on paying 2011 property taxes for his Buchanan, Mich., condominium.

• Beloved Community Christian Church, 6430 S. Harvard Ave., and its social service affiliate, both founded by Rush, had outstanding Internal Revenue Service liens of $161,891 for unpaid employee withholding taxes — money that funds Social Security, Medicare and other government spending.

Rush and his wife own a four-bedroom home in Bronzeville valued at $383,000, in addition to the condo in Michigan. Rush also has an apartment in Washington, D.C.

“Yes, I might owe tax. I might owe a lot of things,” Rush said in an interview at his congressional office on 79th Street. “I’m a person who has to live in two different cities on an income. So I ain’t got it like that.”

Rush is paid $174,000 a year to serve in Congress. His campaign fund regularly pays his wife consultant fees, last year amounting to $83,049, campaign finance records show. She was paid $39,000 for the first nine months of this year.