Melissa Gilbert: 'Little House on the Prairie' Star Turns to Politics, Plagued by Back Taxes

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Melissa Gilbert of Little House on the Prairie fame is running for Congress. Will the back taxes she owes stand in her way of getting elected?

Gilbert is seeking a Michigan congressional seat in 2016, but she owes $470,000 in both state and federal tax liens. A spokesperson for her campaign claims she will have this bill paid in full by 2024.

“Melissa was caught in a perfect storm of financial difficulty, which is why she initiated an honest conversation with the IRS,” the campaign spokesperson said. “Together they set up a payment plan that will allow her to pay back her federal taxes over approximately 8 1/2 years and her California taxes over approximately 46 months.”

A $127,752 lien was filed against Gilbert and her former husband in Los Angeles as far back as 2005, according to legal records. Other liens have been filed since then.

It was Monday when Melissa Gilbert announced she would seek a seat in Michigan’s 8th Congressional District as a Democrat. This is her first run for public office.

A former president of the Screen Actors Guild, Melissa Gilbert is using this past experience to tout her merits as a member of Congress. She follows a long line of past Guild leaders who have run for public office.

Melissa Gilbert is running for Congress because she wants to fight for working families.

"I'm running for Congress to make life a little easier for all the families who feel they have fallen through the cracks in today's economy. I believe building a new economy is a team effort, and we need to bring fresh voices to the table to get the job done," she says.

Melissa Gilbert has spent most of her life in California. She moved to Michigan in 2013.

Do you think she stands a chance of being elected to Congress? Will those tax liens stand in Melissa Gilbert's way?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.