Third Sector Development, A Nonprofit That Focuses on Registering Black Voters, Slapped With Seventh Tax Lien by Regulators

BRUNSWICK – A nonprofit founded by Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams was slapped with three different tax liens over the past year, bringing the organization’s known total to seven.

Third Sector Development, a nonprofit started by Abrams that focuses on registering black voters, was hit with three separate tax liens in the past year for failing to pay state unemployment tax, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Tuesday. The three tax liens, filed by Georgia state regulators, total roughly $3,500.

This isn’t the first time for Abrams’ organization. The Georgia Department of Labor issued four tax liens worth $13,000 against Third Sector Development between 2014 and 2016, also citing unpaid employment contributions.

Abrams has blamed third-party clerical errors for all the issues.


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“In spite of timely payments to Georgia, Third Sector Development is awaiting final action from the Department of Labor to fully resolve this matter,” said Caitlin Highland, an Abrams spokeswoman.

“Last year, Third Sector took steps immediately to satisfy liens imposed for unemployment insurance paid to the federal rather than state government, due entirely to third party contractor error. Unfortunately, the process has taken several months and remains unresolved,” Highland continued. “They are working closely with [Department of Labor] staff to correctly credit the accounts and bring this matter to closure.”

Nonprofit work has paid Abrams handsomely over the years. Third Sector Development and Voter Access Institute — two groups founded by the Democrat — have paid her nearly half a million dollars over the course of three years. Both organizations raked in $12.5 million in donations between 2013 and 2016. However, she has remained quiet on the sources of the donations.

The new tax liens come as Abrams — despite losing her gubernatorial election in November — has seen her stock rise within the Democratic Party. The former Georgia House minority leader and romance novelist has been heavily courted by Democratic leaders to launch a Senate run in 2020. Her status as a rising star within her party was solidified after she was chosen to the give Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address earlier this month.

Abrams has yet to make a final decision on whether she will run for election in 2020. She has given herself until the March to decide.

Abrams has struggled greatly with personal finances throughout her life. She has admitted to owing more than $200,000 in credit card debt, student loans and IRS back taxes. She has cited family obligations and a misunderstanding of how credit cards worked as reason for her financial situation.

“I did not understand that those magical slivers of plastic that I was getting in, in college, a $100 purchase was going to cost me like $3,000 over the next seven years, and that, if I didn’t pay the bill every month, it was going on some report that was going to follow me even after I had a great job,” Abrams explained during the 2018 election.

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