Ahhh....Remember a few months back? After a litany of stories involving Democratic cabinet nominees with tax issues, the GOP could not stop the PR machine from moving fast enough.
What, then, will they make of this??
The District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue will charge Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and his spouse $5,600 in back property taxes for their Georgetown home, following a nearly two-month review of the property's tax status.Apparently, the Blunts were utilizing a Homestead exemption, which deducts from property tax rates for those domiciled in the district. In the past, many lawmakers have taken the exemption, usually though their spouses, who claim residency in the district and pay DC income taxes.
The problem for Blunt--his wife, corporate lobbyist Abigail Pearlman Blunt, became a Missouri resident years ago.
The Blunts argue that this is a matter of a bureaucracy moving at glacial speed:
"After five years of repeated requests, the D.C. government finally updated their records to accurately reflect the Blunts' tax status," Blunt spokesman Nick Simpson said Thursday.The problem, as the folks at Show Me Progress point out, is that the investigation was only opened in April. April happens to be the same month that the Kansas City Star revealed that the Congressman was receiving the exemption in question. One has to be an awful big believer in coincidences to think that the timing there does not have some connective tissue.
Plus, if you are one of the leading figures in the House, and a local bureaucracy has been dragging its feet for half a decade, you don't make a public issue out of it?? Ever??
No...the best efforts of Blunt's spokesman aside, it is more than a little difficult to believe that Blunt was fighting like heck to get this homestead exemption taken away from him.
Interestingly, the right-wing media took then-Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle to task over a LEGAL acceptance of the Homestead Exemption. From Roll Call in 2003:
Dave Keating, executive director of the Club for Growth, said he couldn’t speak for the others, but said he doesn’t believe it makes sense for Daschle to receive the tax break.So, now we will all wait, trembling with anticipation, for the conservative media and interest group community to come after Roy Blunt.
“I don’t profess to be a D.C. property tax expert, but it appears from what they have on the Web site that it would be improper because it’s supposed to be your main residence and these politicians profess to their constituents, ‘I represent you,’” Keating explained. “It would seem strange to take a property tax break aimed at D.C. residents.”
Talon News, a conservative Web-based publication that first reported the charges last week, suggested in its story that Daschle “may not even qualify for the tax credit, since one of the requirements is that the property must be the owner’s primary residence.”