Opinion: Mitt Romney’s Tax Problem

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Mitt Romney (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Buck Starts Here

It turns out that W. Mitt Romney has more in common than the average American homeowner than we though.

Not only is he unemployed, as he describes his employment plight to voters. It turns out he took a really hard hit on a house too.

Poor W. Mitt Romney bought his ocean front house in San Diego around the top of the market – just before the bottom dropped out.

It seems Romney’s business acumen has been greatly exaggerated.

By his own numbers Romney took a forty five percent loss on the property in a matter of seven months. Talk about an underwater mortgage – that is a big loss in about half a year.

Except there is no mortgage.

Romney paid cash for a 12 million dollar house.

That is correct; it is not a misprint. Romney paid cash – for a 12 million dollar house.

Romney then petitioned the local government to lower his property taxes claiming a 45 percent loss in value for the house.

His aggressive attempt using a massive exaggeration of the market value of the home to avoid taxes was denied. After retaining a lawyer and submitting a less skewed value, Romney ultimately saved over $100,000 in property taxes.

It is just another example that when it comes to taxes, Mitt Romney lies.

Based on prior behavior we know that he cannot be trusted to tell the truth when it comes to his taxes.

Just ask anyone in Massachusetts.

In 2002, when Romney returned from Utah to continue his perpetual pursuit for public office he and his advisor Eric Fehrnstrom refused to release Romney’s tax returns.

Despite withholding the documents, Romney and Fehrnstrom were willing to reveal details of Romney’s returns. Specifically, that Romney filed and paid income taxes in both Utah and Massachusetts.

It turned out to be a lie.

Romney only filed taxes in Utah. He amended his returns later to make him eligible to run for governor.

Mitt Romney literally did the same thing in 2002 that he is doing in 2012: making claims about his taxes that he is not willing to prove with documents.

Recently, Romney told Senator Harry Reid that the Senator needed to “put up or shut up” about an unnamed source at Bain that told Reid that Romney had not paid income taxes over a number of years.

There is one important statement Romney has not made in his own defense: he has never claimed to pay a lot of federal income taxes. The most he has done is promise ABC that he would provide the percentages of taxes he paid on prior years’ income.

Again, Romney was lying. He has refused to follow through on his promise.

Romney always says that he has paid a lot of taxes but is mute on if that statement includes federal income taxes. Anyone with four expensive homes is going to pay a lot of taxes on that property alone.

But Romney never, ever says he pays a lot in federal income taxes. Is that because in some years he paid no taxes?

The person who needs to put up or shut up is W. Mitt Romney. There is no reason to believe a word he is saying about his taxes.

About Bill Buck

Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.

 

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