I’d heard in passing last week that former Mets starter / current SNY broadcaster Ron Darling was being chased by the IRS and the states of New York and California over back taxes and penalties.  Said tibdit, while slightly newsworthy, places Ronnie in a pantheon of Americans that one time or another has included Willie Nelson, Chuck Berry and uh, Leona Helmsley..  There could be any number of mitigating circumstances in Darling’s case, but that’s tough fuckin’ luck in the eyes of The Detroit News’ “Tax Watchdog”, Robert Snelll, who preaches, “every year, about $345 billion in federal taxes are either late or unpaid, , ripping open holes in budgets and shortchanging schools and public safety. That forces taxpayers to cough up more than their fair share.”

Snell failed to get an explanation from Darling why a guy who earned nearly $18 million in his big league career couldn’t pay his taxes, but perhaps Ronnie can’t  comment if there’s pending litigation?  The place to negotiate a settlement or fight a dispute with a powerful government agency isn’t in the pages of the Detroit News.  That said, so long as we’re shining a bright light on the importance of paying one’s share, perhaps Snell would be kind enough to upoad a PDF of his 2009 federal and state returns?   (Thanks to David Roth for the link)