October 31, 2018    

TRICK OR TREAT: Warren Wants You to Pay More in Taxes BUT Doesn’t Pay Her Fair Share

Attleboro, MA … Today in Attleboro after a decisive debate victory Representative Geoff Diehl, candidate for U.S. Senate, criticized Senator Elizabeth Warren on using a $338,000 property tax loophole to avoid paying her fair share.

“Trick or treat.  Sen. Warren is using a $338,000 loophole to reduce her property tax burden while telling all of us that we need to pay more and that she wants to repeal the tax reform bill that has been a boon for our economy,” said Diehl.  “Unlike Warren, I will stand up for the taxpayers.”Warren has repeatedly said that millionaires and billionaires need to pay their fair share.  She has talked about how the tax system is rigged for the rich.  And, she has called people freeloaders for not paying enough in taxes.

While Warren complains about loopholes, it turns out she is using a $338,000 property tax loophole to avoid paying her fair share.  The city of Cambridge allows residents, who live in their homes, to deduct $338,000 off the value of their homes.  So instead of paying property taxes on her home valued at $2,592,500, she is only paying taxes on $2,253,517.  Over the past 10 years, Warren has used the loophole for a residential exemption amounting to $2,383,854 and thus avoided paying $18,426.22.

 

Year Home Value Tax Rate Taxes Without Exemption Residential Exemption Taxes with exemption Difference
2018 2,592,500 6.29 16,306.83 338,983 14,580.99 2,196.17
2017 2,447,200 6.49 15,882.33 315,191 14,232.37 2,106.96
2016 2,179,200 6.99 15,232.61 277,937 13,667.56 2,001.06
2015 1,929,100 7.82 15085.56 239,500 13,585.59 1,929.08
2014 1,815,700 8.38 15215.57 215,649 13,785.55 1,861.35
2013 1,740,700 8.66 15074.46 202,699 13,692.68 1,808.03
2012 1,749,600 8.48 14836.61 198,085 13,526.12 1,730.15
2011 1,724.50 8.16 14,112.72 196,226 12,862.38 1,649.24
2010 1,751,700 7.72 13,523.12 198,423 12,327.87 1,577.78
2009 1,751,700 7.56 13,242.85 201,161 12,051.06 1,566.40
TOTAL       2,383,854   $18,426.22

In her infamous video –“you did not build that”—she talks about how businesses were able to succeed because taxes are paid for roads, education, fire and police. However, Warren has avoided paying her full amount in taxes.  Cambridge, which is one of 20 communities that has a residential exemption, has a low property tax rate before the loophole is applied. To make up for the lost revenue, Cambridge receives the 9th highest in local aid from the state. Hence, while millionaires like Warren get a reduced property tax bill, the rest of the state is sending aid to make up for what Warren is not paying.

Warren claimed these property taxes to reduce how much she paid in taxes. According to documents from Cambridge City Hall, Warren paid:

 

Year Paid in Property Taxes Property Taxes According Warren’s Tax Returns
2018 $14,580.99 Not available
2017 $14,232.37 $21,339
2016 $13,667.67 $20,542
2015 $13,585.59 $19,769
2014 $13,785.55 $26,350
2013 $13,692.68 $15,604
2012 $13,526.12 $13,609
2011 $12,862.38 $13,194
2010 $12,327.87 $12, 595
2009 $12,051.06 $10,750

 

The amount Warren claims on her tax returns doesn’t match the amount she actually paid to Cambridge.

This means Senator Warren either:

1.) Filed false tax returns with the IRS for multiple years: Warren increased the claim amount from what she actually paid, falsely reducing her tax burden

2.) Owns a secret property which she failed to disclose on Senate Ethics Forms, going against disclosure rules: If she has a loan on the piece of property, it should be reported.

3.) Used another loophole to hide this secret property, undermining disclosure rules: According to disclosure rules issued in March 2018: “personal property not held for investment or the production of income need not be reported.” This is intended for Senators not to disclose their primary residence. If Senator Warren bought a second property which would increase in value, this may violate the loophole.

Warren needs to explain why these numbers don’t match up.