I searched for records today of Mitt Romney's four hours of testimony before the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission on June 17, 2002, but couldn't find them online. (Have requested them by e-mail.)
But I found this account of the hearing challenging his residency in the Chicago Tribute in 2002 which shows that:
*mistakes are often made,
*none of them are Mitt's fault,
*he often benefits from them,
*he can always amend his answers later if necessary
*and none of this matters anyway.
This is the way it works in Mitt Romney's world.
Romney admitted to filing state taxes with Massachusetts as a non-resident for 1999 and 2000.
Romney told the media in June 2002, before the hearing, that "...he amended those tax filings to 'resident' in April, after he declared his candidacy and opponents questioned whether he was qualified to run."
The former Salt Lake City Olympics chief came under criticism Wednesday (in 2002) following a report that he paid property taxes on a Utah home as his "primary residence" from 1999 through 2001 and received a $54,600 tax discount as a result. Romney and the county assessor in Summit County, Utah, blamed it on a clerical mistake.Well, wait, it was a mistake and it wasn't. Also from the Chicago Tribute:
Romney said Thursday that where he filed his taxes is irrelevant because he and his family have had a home in suburban Boston for nearly 30 years. Chicago Tribune
Barbara Kresser, the Summit County (Utah) assessor, agreed that the tax break was a mistake made by a combination of a lower-level assessor and a computer. But Kresser said the tax bills Romney was sent for his house in Park City, Utah, were clearly marked with the words "primary property," meaning his house there was being treated as his primary residence, not a secondary home. (Emphasis mine.)So, Romney's used to being able to change his story, his tax returns and his residency whenever he wishes. And mistakes are often made that mysteriously benefit him. More from the same Chicago Tribute article:
Under Utah law, the difference is critical. Non-residents pay taxes on 100 percent of the assessed value of a home. Residents pay taxes on only 55 percent of the assessed value.Okay, wait, it gets better, and it doesn't look like anyone ever followed up on this question, because there's nothing else about it in the story. Same source, Chicago Tribune:
Romney's house, on a bluff in the expensive Deer Valley section overlooking Park City, was assessed at $3.8 million in 1999, but he paid taxes on only 55 percent of that valuation, Kresser said. Normally, it is extremely difficult for non-residents to have their homes reclassified as primary residences, Kresser said, and they must show proof such as driver's licenses, voter registration and documentation that they live in Utah more than half the year.
Kresser said the mistake in Romney's tax bill happened when an assessor looked at two sets of records, one for his house, which was newly constructed, and one for the land. In the computer, the land was listed as a primary residence, Kresser said, while the house was described as a secondary residence.Kresser suggested the assessor mistakenly changed the status for the lot and the house to that of a resident. (Didn't say why.)
LOL! So not only did Romney mysteriously get a great tax break that's notoriously hard to get, by some mistake, not of Romney's own doing. But before he got the nice tax break on the house, he got the same tax break on an empty lot by claiming he lived there, permanently. (Camping, anyone?) Or, well, someone must have mistakenly believed Mitt lived on the empty lot.
Must be nice to have mistake after mistake made in your favor.