The Reverend Al Sharpton has skyrocketed to national prominence from a community organizer to a consultant to President Obama, amidst a long yet lesser known background of tax obligations and debt that totals millions and millions of dollars.

Sharpton and his businesses for-profit, owe over $4.5 million in federal and state tax liens, reported one daily out of New York.

In addition, his nonprofit group that is influential named National Action Network appears to be under the same situation, saddled with a number of unpaid hotel and travel expenses while staying afloat apparently by failing to pay, federal taxes for payroll.

The report has suggested that Sharpton has not paid enough or paid fast enough to lower his obligation to New York state, a situation he refuted sharply on Tuesday.

The civil rights leader who is 60 told a television reporter that he holds an agreement with the government to make payments on taxes related to his businesses and personal taxes. He also said his payments have been made on time.

He called the report bogus saying the agreement he has is signed and what is contained in the agreement has been kept.

Sharpton was also clear about the close to $1 million raised at an event in New York to celebrate his 60th birthday. He said it would be used towards lowering his debts.

Sharpton argued as well that his determination and work ethic are beyond reproach but did acknowledge his shortcomings when it came to administrating.

Sharpton has moved up the ladder a long way since being just a robust preacher and an activist working Brooklyn’s streets wearing a jogger’s suit.

His career low point likely took place during the 1980s when he accused a prosecutor in New York of being one of a group of white men that had abducted and then raped Tawana Brawley a teenager. The allegation by Sharpton ended up being false.

Sharpton, who is well tailored and much slimmer today, appeared in Ferguson, Missouri to make an appeal for both justice and calm after the shooting of a black teen by a white officer.

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