The Internal Revenue Service has a $27,687 lien on the home of Patrick T. Ginnetti, the lone candidate for Mahoning County engineer, who failed to pay the proper amount of federal income tax on a business he owned.
Ginnetti of Garfield Street in Struthers said he made a “mistake in calculating federal withholdings” for his business, GMS Surveyors and Engineers, in 2005 and 2006.
“I’m not super proud of my mistake,” he said. “But they happen. You learn from them and move on.”
Ginnetti said he discovered the mistake in 2006, and contacted the IRS.
Ginnetti said he was on a payment plan, but “because of personal issues I asked for a deferment” from making regular payments later in 2006.
He declined to discuss the personal issues, but said they are now resolved and expects shortly to resume making payments.
It hasn’t been released how much the penalties and interest are on the $27,687 Ginnetti owes.
But the engineer candidate said the entire amount should be paid off in three to five years.
In addition to resuming monthly payments, Ginnetti said the IRS will keep any refunds he is to receive for his personal income-tax returns.
“I want to straighten it up,” he said. “I owned up to the mistake. Everybody goes through stuff at times. I paid the incorrect amount on the business. I was responsible for a number of employees,” which ranged from four to 16. “I want to pay whatever is left.”
When asked if he thinks this hurts his reputation as a candidate for county engineer, Ginnetti said, “In a way, it shows my integrity. I came forward.”
Ginnetti sold GMS in 2006 to R.D. Zande & Associates, an engineering consulting firm, leaving in 2008, when the company was sold to Stantec, a global design and consulting business, that shut down the local office.
Ginnetti then went to work for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ abandoned mine-land section’s acid mine division, leaving that state job last year to concentrate on running for county engineer. He now works for a Cranberry, Pa., engineering firm.
Ginnetti received the endorsement of the county Democratic Party’s central committee on Dec. 7 over four-term incumbent Engineer Richard Marsico. After losing the endorsement, Marsico withdrew from the March 6 Democratic primary, leaving Ginnetti as the lone candidate.
Republicans don’t have a candidate on the ballot for county engineer, which pays $99,209 in salary a year. The filing deadline for independents is March 5.
When asked about Ginnetti’s tax lien, Mahoning Democratic Chairman David Betras said, “I’m confident it’s not an indication [of a problem] or anything negative” that would impact his ability to serve as county engineer.
“I’m satisfied with his explanation and happy to say he’s an endorsed Democratic candidate.”