Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
About that beachfront home in La Jolla, California, you know, the single-story 3,000-square-foot house that the Romneys are bulldozing to replace it with a 7,400-square-foot home and an additional 3,600 square feet of subterranean "trophy basement" with its own car elevators.
The Los Angeles Times reports today, Romneys, caught in housing bust, got tax cut in La Jolla:
Mitt and Ann Romney were easily able to afford a $12-million La Jolla home.
But that didn't insulate them from the winds buffeting the real estate market in the months following their purchase in 2008.
After paying cash for the Mediterranean-style house with 61 feet of beach frontage, they asked San Diego County for dramatic property tax relief.
* * *
San Diego County assessor records shed light on one sliver of the couple's personal taxes during that time: a months-long effort to reduce their annual property tax bill.
Initially, the Romneys asked that their 2009 assessment, $12.24 million, be reduced to $6.8 million, maintaining that their home had lost about 45% of its value in the first seven months they owned it.
Thirteen months later, after hiring an attorney to guide them, the Romneys filed an amended appeal, contending the home had suffered a less-dramatic fall of 27.3%, to $8.9 million.
They also filed an appeal for the 2010 tax year, claiming the house had dropped further, to $7.5 million, 38.7% less than the home's assessed value.
As a result, the Romneys have saved about $109,000 in property taxes over four years.
* * *
The Romney campaign referred all questions about their La Jolla property taxes to Matthew A. Peterson, a lobbyist and attorney who helped the Romneys find the home. He has also guided them through the complex permit process for demolishing the home and rebuilding on the site.
Wait, they hired a lobbyist for their house? My guess is they have paid Mr. Peterson at least as much as the $109,000 in property tax savings realized. And the new "McMansion" they are building will dramatically increase their property tax assessment. So what was the point? Just to avoid paying a few dollars more in taxes?