A pro-Republican Super PAC sent a letter to the comptroller of Maryland this week alleging that Democratic Massachusetts congressman and Maryland homeowner Ed Markey may not have paid taxes on his Maryland property.
Markey instead filed a tax return in Massachusetts, where he is currently running for the U.S. Senate against Gabriel Gomez in a special election to be held next Tuesday.
Markey has been hounded during the campaign by accusations that he does not actually reside in Massachusetts, where he has owned his parents’ modest home since 2001 despite owning a much more lavish property in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he resides for most of the year.
Gomez slammed Markey in Tuesday night’s final election debate over Markey’s decision to redact his address from the tax returns his campaign showed reporters, which Markey claimed was an accountant’s error.
“It appears from a review of news accounts and Maryland law that Rep. Markey may in fact be a resident of Maryland for tax purposes and, thus, may owe Maryland taxes and should file a Maryland state tax return,” wrote America Rising PAC executive director Tim Miller in a letter to the comptroller of Maryland dated from Tuesday.
“Rep. Markey and his wife purchased their home in Chevy Chase in 1991. Their home is 3,412 square feet and is currently assessed for tax purposes at $1.3 million. According to Montgomery County property tax records, Rep. Markey listed his Chevy Chase home as his principal residence through 2001, but stopped listing his home as his personal residence after he purchased his parents’ house in Malden, MA,” Miller wrote.
“The 2001 purchase of his parents’ house following his father’s death was the first time Rep. Markey owned property in his congressional district. Rep. Markey bought the house for $150,000,” Miller wrote. “The house is currently valued at $204,800, and Rep. Markey doesn’t take advantage of a tax break for homes that are owner-occupied.”
“Rep. Markey’s Senate campaign spokeswoman produced for a news reporter an exact number of trips — 34 — that Markey took back to his congressional district in 2012,” Miller wrote. “If we were to assume that Rep. Markey spent five days out of Maryland on each of those 34 trips, there would remain 195 days in 2012 when Markey could have been residing in Maryland. … According to Maryland law, one definition for a resident of Maryland is an individual maintaining aplace of abode in the state for 183 days during a taxable year. …Even if an individual is not a Maryland domiciliary, they must file a Maryland tax return if they spend in the aggregate 183 days in Maryland.”
Miller also noted that Markey is apparently active in his Maryland community, and that his wife owns a business in Chevy Chase. It has also been reported that Markey pays the monthly minimum for water service at his Massachusetts residence.
The speculation in the race surrounding Markey’s residency was kicked off by former Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, who said in a January radio interview that Markey would be a tempting political opponent for him because he might not even live in Massachusetts.
“You got Ed Markey: Does he even live here any more? You’ve got to check the travel records. I’ve come back and forth (from Washington to Boston) every weekend, almost, for three years, and I see, you know, most of the delegation, and I have never seen Ed on the airplane — ever,” Brown said in an interview on Boston’s “The Jim & Margery Show.”
Markey currently leads Gomez in the polls by seven points.