The Washington Post's Miranda Spivack downplayed all the irony in her report Friday on a top House Democrat on the tax-law-writing Ways and Means Committee trying to lower his taxes in Maryland by claiming the state as his residence – even as he represents a district in San Francisco. The congressman is long-time liberal loudmouth Pete Stark.
Stark's homestead exemption was first reported yesterday by Bloomberg News. The congressman is the second-ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee and chairs its health subcommittee, which writes tax legislation affecting health care.
Stark said yesterday that he expected Maryland to reject his application for a homestead exemption. "From what I hear from everybody, it will be denied and my taxes will go up," he said. He said he expects his $12,500 annual property tax bill to increase by about $3,000.
This isn’t Tim Geithner tax-evasion territory, but it’s still funny to watch liberals who qualify as "the rich" under their own definitions trying to lower their own taxes. Stark isn’t the only liberal House Democrat claiming to be a Marylander to cut his tax bill:
Last week, Montgomery County officials said they had withdrawn an exemption for Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who had claimed his Potomac home as his principal residence until the change in Maryland law made him ineligible this year, said Roberta Ward, who manages the homestead exemption for the county.
Will this story be reported in San Francisco and New York? Neither of these liberals are in much danger of being unseated, but it should be highly embarrassing for them to call themselves residents of Maryland just for a tax break.
No conservatives or Republicans were quoted to criticize the Democratic tax tweakers. The Post carried this bland headline in the Metro section, page B-2:
Another Congressman May Lose Tax Break
Officials Review Exemption on Calif. Lawmaker's Property in Anne Arundel