Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was having a feel-good Thanksgiving week, passing out turkeys in East Los Angeles and giving thanks for "the blessings of freedom and democracy."
But then came the heartburn.
A gossip Web site Friday morning revealed that the IRS filed a federal tax lien against the governor last spring seeking $79,000 — a discovery Schwarzenegger's office blames on "a minor paperwork tracking discrepancy."
A copy of the tax lien, submitted in Los Angeles County, was first posted by TMZ.com. A search of public records databases shows the lien was filed May 11 and that it lists the governor's home address.
The governor's office at first questioned the authenticity of the document and insisted that Schwarzenegger had paid his taxes "in full and on time." Later, after officials spoke with the IRS, they explained there had been a snafu.
"The issue is completely unrelated to the payment of taxes," Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said in a statement. "The matter will be resolved and the lien expunged without any penalty assessed upon the governor."
McLear — who said the governor learned of the matter only Friday — wouldn't comment further on the nature of the mix-up or on what kind of taxes the lien involved.