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View Diary: MA-Sen: Gomez Shopped Around for Most Favorable Appraisal Before Taking Shady Tax Deduction (40 comments)

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  •  Doesn't matter (12+ / 0-)

    I'm all for preservation and have no problem with the deduction if it's legitimately reflecting a decrease in value (though it's odd since that doesn't matter until you sell). But if you take it when you shouldn't, or you take far too large a deduction, it's wrong no matter what party someone's in. I used to live in Georgetown and knew plenty of Republicans there.

    As it happens, this particular guy is running for U.S. Senate. If someone else runs for office and has a similar situation, it should be discussed.

    Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Thu May 16, 2013 at 07:59:25 AM PDT

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    •  just as importantly... (15+ / 0-)

      ...when you promise to do something, like not changing the facade of the house, and then see no conflict of interest in having your own wife help give you special treatment in the form of a waiver from that promise...it goes to the issue of ethics.

      Gomez' wife had no business being involved in a decision that directly affected both she and her husband on a matter like this. This was a blatant conflict of interest, from which she should have recused herself.

      In fact...this begs the entire question...doesn't the state of Massachusetts have a conflict of interest provision that prohibits people from making decisions that are in their own personal best interest? If so...it seems that an ethics investigation is in order, at the very least.

      •  It's a little more subtle (11+ / 0-)

        The Gomezes appear to have taken the position that they were not required to run the chimney removal by the historic commission. They never applied for a waiver or certificate of appropriateness. The historic commission - on which Mrs. Gomez sits - said nothing about the matter either way.

        Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Thu May 16, 2013 at 08:44:42 AM PDT

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        •  Ask a neighbor (6+ / 0-)

          If they took down the chimney without permission, I'll bet you there is a neighbor who will gladly tell you all about it.

          In my MA neighborhood, all of us on my side of the street are under strict conservation commission rules. If someone so much as prunes the wrong shrub, the conservation commission shows up in your driveway before the cuttings hit the ground.

          “No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people.” ~ my new Senator Elizabeth Warren

          by Domestic Elf on Thu May 16, 2013 at 11:25:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I am all for preservation too, however, far too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, gustynpip, fenway49, NYFM

      many of these easements are appraised at inflated amounts by insider appraisers that represent no real relationship to the actual decrease in value that the historical view easement represents.  I am sure that both Republicans and Democrats in Georgetown do it, but Georgetown is always given as the example of why the IRS subjects these deductions with such scrutiny because of the abuse of this tax provision that was widely abused there by well heeled historic homeowners.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Thu May 16, 2013 at 10:25:06 PM PDT

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      •  That's exactly what I'm saying (0+ / 0-)

        Actual decrease in value, fine. Insider appraisal at twice the going rate that finds a decrease not borne out by any other evidence, not fine.

        (I thought you were saying we shouldn't make too much hay of it because the people doing it in Georgetown were mostly Democrats.)

        Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:44:58 AM PDT

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        •  Do we know that an "inside" appraiser (0+ / 0-)

          Was used? Property values were ballooning during 2005-2007.

          Often, property owners often retain subsequent appraisers when they disagree with the initial appraiser.

          There is nothing ipso facto hinky about that, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.

          Now, I think the facts that he claimed the deduction, was allowed it, and did not pay the appraiser's bill all stink.

          The man has zero ethics. And he should be billed for the back taxes owed with penalties and interest, if not charged with tax evasion.

          I despise people like this.

          But heck, in today's market, the house I'm sitting in right now has increased in value about 10% in a year. And this market isn't as hot as it was before the housing bubble burst. Plus my neighborhood isn't that one. Areas increase or decrease in value differently.

          Property apprasing is part math and part judgement call.

          I prefer we simply castigate the slimy homeowner without assuming the appraiser was dirty as well.

          Jmo.

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Fri May 17, 2013 at 02:39:32 PM PDT

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          •  The appraisal (0+ / 0-)

            said the house went DOWN in value at a time when the market was white-hot. The town's assessment for property taxes didn't go down; the house rose in value by some 600K in the four years after the easement/deduction. Both of the appraisers were referred by a nonprofit the IRS sued in 2011 for being a clearinghouse for tax evasion. All that seems questionable to me.

            But you're right, my main problem is with Gomez.

            Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

            by fenway49 on Fri May 17, 2013 at 03:14:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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