A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 13, 2005
Only the little people pay taxes (attributed to Leona Helmsley)
Leona Helmsley (wife of Harry Helmsley, the real estate manager) was convicted of tax evasion. Her Connecticut housekeeper testified that, in 1983, Leona Helmsley told her that "only the little people pay taxes."

Leona Helmsley has always denied ever saying these now-infamous words.

12 July 1989, New York Times, pg. B2:
Maid Testifies
Helmsley Denied
Paying Taxes

Says She Told Her "Only
the Little People Pay"

By The Associated Press

Leona Helmsley once told a housekeeper at her Connecticut home that "only the little people pay taxes," the housekeeper testified yesterday at Mrs. Helmsley's tax-fraud and extortion trial.

The witness, Elizabeth Baum, said the conversation took place at the Helmsleys' home in Greenwich four to six weeks after she was hired in September 1983.

Ms. Baum said she and Mrs. Helmsley were in a back hall of the $11 million home. "I said, 'You must pay a lot of taxes,'" Ms. Baum said. "She said, 'We don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.'"

Mrs. Helmsley, 69 years old, is accused of evading taxes by disguising $4 million in renovations at the Connecticut home as business expenses.

Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Tuesday, September 13, 2005 • Permalink