Corbett's Politically Connected Recipient of $2.5 Million Taxpayer-Funded Grant Owes State $184,953 in Unpaid Taxes

October 30, 2014 | By Campaign for a Fresh Start

Corbett Must Pull Back Grant Given Beneficiary's Unpaid Taxes And Debts

Philadelphia, PA – The Tribune-Review today revealed that the recipient of a $2.5 million taxpayer-funded state grant provided by Governor Tom Corbett owes the state of Pennsylvania alone $184,953 in unpaid taxes, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in other debts to local governments. Michael Dolan, the owner of said grant recipient company Island Studios, is a Corbett donor and comes from a politically connected family. Yesterday, it was reported that the Sto-Rox and Pittsburgh School districts have filed liens against Island Studios for unpaid taxes.

Michael Dolan and his family have contributed over $100,000 to Governor Tom Corbett's campaigns and the Pennsylvania Republican Party. Dolan ran unsuccessfully for the state House seat that became vacant when Representative Jeff Habay (R-Shaler) resigned after being convicted of misusing public resources. During the campaign, it was revealed that Dolan had a long arrest record.

"Once again, Governor Tom Corbett has been caught red-handed using taxpayer dollars to reward campaign donors," Campaign for a Fresh Start Spokesman Mike Mikus said. "It's frankly absurd that Governor Corbett thought it was appropriate to award a known tax delinquent with a grant funded by Pennsylvania's taxpayers. And it's infuriating for hard-working Pennsylvanians who responsibly pay their taxes."

"The only reason that Tom Corbett would give $2.5 million of taxpayer money to someone with a long arrest record and hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes and debts is because his family is politically connected and has donated generously to his campaign and the Republican Party," Mikus continued.

In addition to unpaid taxes, reports indicate that Island Studios also failed to pay numerous contractors for completed work and failed to repay $151,000 in loans to Allegheny County. In response to news of Island Studios' track record of unpaid taxes and financial delinquency, Corbett tried to blame Allegheny County even though the county did not apply for the grant.

"Given this company's disturbing track record, Tom Corbett has no choice but to pull back this grant," Mikus said. "Pennsylvanians deserve to know that their tax dollars are going to worthy causes and not companies that dodge taxes and people with long arrest records. It is time for Tom Corbett to take responsibility and admit that this grant should never have been granted. More importantly, Tom Corbett must pull back this $2.5 million grant immediately."

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