Friday, May 17, 2013

In Massachusetts Republican Senate Candidate Gabriel GomezTook a $281,500 Tax Deduction For . . . Wait For It . . .

Agreeing Not Change the Outside of His Multi-million Dollar House

Wow, another wealthy Massachusetts pol, another greedy person running for office taking questionable but not illegal tax dodges to get any wealthier.  Where have we heard that story before?

[Update:  Politico reports that after Mr. Gomez got his big tax break he made exenstive changes in his house.  No, this does not appear to have violated anything, but it does bring the question of whether or not his tax break was phony.  The tax break was supposed to compensate him for the reduction in value of the house because changes could no longer be made.

According to documents obtained by POLITICO, Gomez filed for permits in 2006 for a remodeling project to remove a chimney and extend a back and side deck of his home. The larger remodeling project, which included work done to his master bathroom and kitchen, cost Gomez and his wife, Sarah, an estimated $125,000, the documents say. In 2009, Gomez paid for $151,000 in renovations to his roof, according to documents filed with the Town of Cohasset, where his home is located.

There’s no evidence that Gomez — now the Republican Massachusetts Senate nominee in next month’s special election — violated the law. Plus the exterior renovations appear to have been approved by the appropriate governing authorities.

But Mr. Gomez is a wealthy (is there any other kind?) Massachusetts Republican.  Like many of them he may well think that the tax laws were just made to benefit people like himself, that this is their only purpose.]

Here is the main story.

In the state of Massachusetts a Republican named Gabriel Gomez is trying to become Scott Brown and upset a heavily favored Democrat in the special election to replace John Kerry in the United States Senate.  How do we know that Mr. Gomez is a Republican?  Easy, he is a wealthy individual engaged in questionable practices to get even more money.

In this case Mr. Gomez took a tax deduction for agreeing to preserve the outside of his residence, which for some reason had historical value.

Gabriel Gomez’s house is in a Cohasset historic district.
The Gomez Home - Doesn't look like it gets a $281,500 tax
deduction for not changing its front

Republican US Senate nominee Gabriel E. Gomez claimed a $281,500 income tax deduction in 2005 for pledging not to make any visible changes to the facade of his 112-year-old Cohasset home, a concession so valuable that it is classified as a charitable contribution under a federal law designed to protect historic homes.

Okay, sounds kind of silly and inflated, but the law is the law.  Or maybe not.

But Gomez and his wife, Sarah, were already barred from making any changes to the exterior of their home under the bylaws of the local Historical Commission, raising the question as to whether their donation — the price of which is based on the loss of value in their real estate — had any monetary worth.

The Gomezes, whose 59 Highland Ave. home is located within the Cohasset Common Historic District, gave the historical easement to the National Architectural Trust, a Washington-based organization whose marketing of tax-deductible easements to homeowners has been targeted by the US Department of Justice.

Oh, that.  The IRS has stated that these actions are usually a scam, meaning in a nice way it’s a way that someone cheats on their taxes.

But gosh, on a personal level The Dismal Political Economist is encouraged.  He hates to do repair work and maintenance on his house, hates to spend money to have others do it and so he told Mrs. Dismal Political Economist that he agreed not to do it in order to provide for the historical preservation of the DPE homesite.

She was not amused.

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