Government & Politics

Springfield lawyer behind Missouri medical marijuana proposal in hot water over taxes

Brad Bradshaw is a successful personal injury lawyer who is also a doctor. He’s pushing to legalize medical marijuana and has funded the Amendment 3 campaign, but now faces criticism for two tax liens totaling more than $119,000.
Brad Bradshaw is a successful personal injury lawyer who is also a doctor. He’s pushing to legalize medical marijuana and has funded the Amendment 3 campaign, but now faces criticism for two tax liens totaling more than $119,000. File/The Kansas City Star

A Springfield attorney and physician behind one of several campaigns to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri was served with tax liens totaling more than $119,000 at the same time he was self-funding his initiative.

Brad Bradshaw, who has donated thousands to his campaign since the beginning of 2016 and loaned more than $1.5 million, owed the state $88,166.47 in taxes, interest and fees from tax year 2015, according to a tax lien issued by the Missouri Department of Revenue, first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A federal tax lien shows his business, Brad Bradshaw MD JD LC, owed $31,374.54.

In a letter dated Monday, Bradshaw’s attorney, Kevin Kerr, said Bradshaw had entered a repayment agreement with the Missouri Department of Revenue, but his office may still dispute the assessment. Kerr said the federal lien was the result of the Internal Revenue Service misapplying a corporate payroll payment. He said it would be released within 20 days.

“Not only will the lien be marked as satisfied, it will be withdrawn and expunged as though it never existed, which is the complete resolution and the IRS owning the mistake,” said Robert Fedor, who serves as tax counsel with the same firm as Kerr.

The campaign Bradshaw has been funding, Find the Cures, supports Amendment 3 on the November ballot. The amendment would legalize medical marijuana in the Missouri Constitution and create licensing procedures and tax marijuana retail and wholesale purchases. The funds would be used to establish a state research institute to develop cures and treatments for cancer and other conditions. Bradshaw would chair the institute, and the initiative gives him the authority to appoint board members to govern it.

Bradshaw in 2013 was instrumental opposing an effort to pass a half-cent sales tax in Jackson County to fund translational research. Voters soundly rejected the tax.

Kerr said in the letter the liens were the result of mistakes made by Bradshaw’s previous accountant.

“Dr. Bradshaw has terminated that accountant, retained a new accountant and is in a payment plan with the Missouri Department of Revenue to resolve the liability,” the letter says.

In an interview, Bradshaw called it a “substantial mistake” and added some people would say the accountant committed malpractice. He said he did not have plans to file any sort of complaint against his accountant at this time. He did not name the accountant.

Bradshaw said the IRS misapplied the payment and he wasn’t going to pay twice. After what he called an argument with the IRS, the lien was issued. Then, he said the IRS realized the misapplication and started the process to relinquish the lien.

Bradshaw said his wages have not been garnished to resolve the liens.

Amendment 3 is one of three proposals on the November ballot that would legalize medical marijuana. New Approach Missouri is sponsoring a competing constitutional amendment — Amendment 2. If both amendments pass, the one with a larger majority would take effect.

Either amendment, if passed, would trump Proposition C, which would legalize medical marijuana by statute, not in the constitution.

In a statement, New Approach Missouri spokesman Jack Cardetti, said Bradshaw’s tax trouble was “no surprise.”

“It’s simply appalling that Brad Bradshaw wants Missouri patients to pay the highest medical marijuana tax in the country, while at the same time not paying his own taxes,” Cardetti said.

Cardetti said Bradshaw was working out of “self interest” and looking to “make himself Missouri’s medical marijuana czar.”

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