Reporting Jon Keller
COHASSET (CBS) – Republican Senate nominee Gabriel Gomez is taking heat over a tax deduction he took worth more than a quarter of a million dollars.
According to the Boston Globe, Gomez and his wife claimed a special income tax deduction of more than $280,000, by promising not to make any changes to their historic Cohasset home.
But it’s now putting Gomez in a tough political spot.
“For Congressman Markey to suggest that I’ve done anything to break the rules is beyond disgraceful, it’s dishonorable,” Gomez said about the Markey campaign’s claim that he, “bilked taxpayers.”
“I’ve worked for everything I’ve done and I’ve earned everything I’ve done,” said Gomez. “Only in Washington could a career politician hack, slam the American Dream.”
It’s not his personal wealth that’s politically problematic for Gomez here. It’s the prospect that voters might flinch at the sight of a populist candidate taking a rich man’s tax break.
State Democratic Party Chair John Walsh was quick to pounce. “Resources are tight in Washington, we could have used that 300 grand,” said Walsh.
Thousands of others have taken the same tax break, aimed at encouraging preservation of historic homes, and in 1980 the House – including Congressman Markey – voted unanimously to continue it.
But that doesn’t make the story any less tricky for Gomez at a time when he’s still introducing himself to voters.
“They could probably use the money a little more wisely, the town of Cohasset there,” said one resident. “I don’t get a tax break on mine.”
When asked if he would take the tax break again, Gomez responded, “I followed the rules, it’s as simple as that.”
Gomez has called for a broad review of corporate and personal tax loopholes to help close the federal deficit, and he told WBZ-TV that he’d support adding this tax break to the list.