BOISE -- Tax-protesting state Rep. Phil Hart says all of his legislative pay during the last seven years was garnished by the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy outstanding income tax payments.

The Spokesman-Review reported on Thursday that Hart made the revelation in documents filed to support his bid for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection.

The northern Idaho Republican listed more than $600,000 in debts, most of it to the IRS and the Idaho State Tax Commission.

Some former House leaders fear that people who learn Hart's legislative paychecks went to finance his tax bill will become more cynical about elected leaders.

Former House Speaker Bruce Newcomb says the general public is already suspicious about politicians and worries this will merely confirm people's worst fears.

Hart lost his May 15 GOP primary election.

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