Springsteen Admits to Being Tax Dodger

Left-wing musician promotes big, expensive government — but apparently hates paying the taxman as much as the next guy

by Zachary Leeman | Updated 01 May 2017 at 1:06 PM

Bruce Springsteen may be a supporter of big government and liberal policies, but he’s no friend to the taxman. The “Born to Run” musician admitted on a stage with actor Tom Hanks at the Tribeca Film Festival over the weekend that he was once a tax dodger and that his actions landed him in trouble with the government.

“First of all, I never met anyone in New Jersey who paid any taxes,” said Springsteen. “We never paid any taxes.”

He continued, “Then when we got with [manager] Mike Appel, he was handling all our business, and his thing was, ‘We’re not paying any f***ing taxes.’ So, years went by and … all of this time went by. Nobody’s paying taxes — me, the band, no one I know.”

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Uncle Sam took an interest in Springsteen after the success of his 1975 “Born to Run” album.

“They came after us,” he said. “I had to work for a couple years for somebody else every night.”

With Springsteen’s history of dodging taxes and being taken to task by the government, one would think his politics wouldn’t align so heavily with the Left, but they do. The singer has long stumped for politicians such as Barack Obama and spoken out against tax cuts.

In an article written for The New York Times in 2004, Springsteen criticized the Bush administration for implementing tax cuts. "We granted tax cuts to the richest 1 percent (corporate bigwigs, well-to-do guitar players)," he wrote, "increasing the division of wealth that threatens to destroy our social contract with one another and render mute the promise of 'one nation indivisible.'"

Springsteen's tax dodging could also be taken as just another example of his hypocritical politics.

The book "Hollywood Hypocrites" by Jason Mattera took Springsteen to task for avoiding taxes — despite being a promoter of bigger and more expensive government.

The difference is now he does so legally.

"Bruce Springsteen pays over $138,000 a year in taxes for his three-acre home in Colts Neck, New Jersey," wrote Mattera. "He owns another 200 adjoining acres. But because he has a part-time farmer come and grow a few tomatoes (organic, of course) and has horses, his tax bill on the remaining 200 acres is just $4,639 bucks. Do the math. By being a fake farmer, the working-class zero Springsteen is making a mint by robbing New Jersey of the antipoverty program funds he says they desperately need."

  1. born-to-run
  2. bruce-springsteen
  3. new-jersey
  4. obama
  5. taxes
  6. tom-hanks
  7. tribeca-film-festival
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