Report: Mark Robinson didn’t file federal income taxes for five years, bankruptcy documents show

According to bankruptcy documents obtained by ABC News, North Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson didn’t file federal income tax for five consecutive years beginning in 1998.

ABC News reports that Robinson filed for bankruptcy just a few years after opening a day care center with his wife, a business opened in 2000. In a 2022 autobiography, Robinson gushed about being successful. He wrote that the business was so successful that he left his job at an aviation company and stopped attending college classes to work full-time on the business, Precious Beginnings. 

According to ABC News, Robinson and his wife, Yolanda, filed for bankruptcy in early 2003; the news outlet had obtained documents filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court in the Middle District of North Carolina. 

The documents show the Robinsons were in a dire situation. Both of their cars were about to be repossessed, their home in Greensboro was at risk of foreclosure, and Robinson reported having just $70 to his name. The couple reported debts over $1 million. 

The bankruptcy filing, which was Robinson’s third, appears to have prompted the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ask the Bankruptcy Court to compel Robinson to file taxes for tax years 1998 through 2002, according to ABC. 

He filed his back taxes in May of 2003. 

The Robinsons lost their Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection case in late 2003 because the debtors did not comply with the plan’s requirements.

Mike Lonergan, the communications director for Robinson’s gubernatorial campaign, told ABC News the bankruptcy report “is old news recycled by the Democrats and their allies in the press to distract voters.”

He said that Robinson “has made no secret” about the financial challenges he has faced and blamed his woes on losing a job “due to NAFTA.” The statement also compared Robinson’s financial troubles to those faced by “families across North Carolina,” pivoting to a campaign pitch pledging to “be focused on solutions” and bashing Robinson’s Democratic opponent Josh Stein, without mentioning his name, as “another career politician climbing the ladder from office to office.”

Stein is currently the state’s Attorney General. 

ABC pointed out that Robinson has indeed faced questions about his taxes but, in 2022, seemed to blame any error on his wife, claiming he’s “not very good at math” and that if he did the taxes “somebody’s going to jail.”

Robinson is running in hopes of flipping the Governor’s mansion red. Current Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is term-limited out of office. 

Robinson defeated state Treasurer Dale Folwell and trial lawyer Bill Graham in last month’s GOP Primary. If he wins in November, he would be the state’s first Black Governor. Robinson is already serving as the state’s first Black Lieutenant Governor.

Robinson is a former factory worker who rose to political prominence after a 2018 speech to his hometown City Council went viral. He has a coveted endorsement from former President Donald Trump, though some believe it is counterproductive.

Robinson has been a controversial figure who has, at times, made incendiary comments about LGBTQ+ issues and women in Christian leadership. And Robinson once called former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a “heifer” and former First Lady Michelle Obama a man.

Robinson has spoken out about the dangers of “critical race theory” in schools and has questioned whether history should even be taught in some grades.

He is also a vocal supporter of unfettered gun access, including his service now on the National Rifle Association Board. 

In addition to three bankruptcy filings, Robinson also paid for a partner to have an abortion in the late 80s, according to Axios. That despite being a staunch anti-abortion leader.

The GOP already holds a narrow veto-proof majority in both chambers of the state Legislature and controls the state Supreme Court. Now, they’re looking for the trifecta by putting a Republican in the Governor’s Mansion, which has been elusive for the party. Democrats have lost just one Governor’s race since 1992.

The RGA is already buying in. On Wednesday, just hours after Robinson was declared the party nominee, the group launched a website attacking Stein, though it did not specifically mention Robinson.

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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