The Washington Times reported Thursday that the North Carolina senator, a millionaire personal injury lawyer worth somewhere between $12 million and $30 million, owes the District of Columbia (search) more than $11,000.
Edwards' campaign said Thursday that the senator has paid delinquent taxes on the house.
"They had not received a copy of the tax notice," said campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri, referring to the senator and his wife, Elizabeth. "When they got a copy yesterday, they paid it immediately."
Edwards bought the eight-bedroom, 6,672-square-foot home for $3.8 million last September but it is being renovated and he does not live there. He and his family are currently renting another home in Washington.
In February, the city sent Edwards a tax bill for $9,562.46, which he was supposed to have paid by March 31, according to tax records. As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Times reported, Edwards owed $11,092.46 with interest and penalties.
"There have been times when some of the Edwards's automobile and property taxes were paid late," Palmieri also said in a statement. "Those taxes and appropriate penalties were paid in full years ago. Senator Edwards takes full responsibility for any of those bills that were paid late."
The Republican National Committee (search) seized upon the opportunity to chastise one of President Bush's potential opponents for his tax delinquency.
"On the campaign trail, Edwards supports increasing taxes on American families but at home isn't paying," RNC spokesman Jim Dyke said in the statement. "Maybe Sen. Edwards thinks only the little people should pay taxes.
"Or maybe this is just an innovative new tax relief plan: don't pay."
Edwards, hoping to get his party's nod to run against Bush in 2004, often rails against the president's tax cuts as giveaways to the rich.
The senator's tax bill is among the city's largest for private homeowners, the Times reported.
"That's a lot of money," Virginia Daisley, a spokeswoman for the city tax collection office, told the newspaper. "There's no reason for not paying your tax bill … I guess if you're in the hospital or something, but still you have to pay your taxes."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.