Maine Democrats question Republican Paul LePage’s homestead exemption for Florida home


HIRSCHKORN IS áLIVEá IN THE STUDIO WITH THAT REPORT. PHIL? MAINE AND FLORIDA BOTH HAVE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS. MAINE’S KNOCKS OFF $25,000 OFF THE ASSESSED VALUE OF YOUR HOME FOR TAX PURPOSES, FLORIDA’S, $50,000. THE LEPAGES RETIRED TO FLORIDA AFTER HE LEFT OFFICE, IN 2019, BUT EVEN AFTER MOVING BACK, THEY’VE CLAIMED THE EXEMPTION FOR THEIR HOME THERE. (VO 1: GOOGLE EARTH 40 GALE LANE) IN MARCH 2018, THE LEPAGES PURCHASED THIS HOME, AS SEEN ON “GOOGLE EARTH,” AT 40 GALE LANE, IN ORMOND BEACH, FLORIDA, OUTSIDE DAYTONA. THEY PAID $360,000 – AND STILL OWN IT – IN ANN’S NAME. THEY RECEIVED FLORIDA’S HOMESTEAD TAX EXEMPTION IN 2019, 2020, AND 2021. (GFX #1: SOURCE: FLAGLER COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER) AND THIS YEAR, ALONE, THEY SAVED $2,521. (VO 2: PRESSER TODAY….LEPAGE RECENT) MAINE DEMOCRATS ARE CALLING OUT LEPAGE FOR CLAIMING THE FLORIDA EXEMPTION WHILE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR. (SOT BEV UHLENHAKE, VICE CHAIR, MAINE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, 54:25) “HE ACTUALLY TRIED TO ELIMINATE THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION ACT HERE IN MAINE. THAT’S THE VERY TAX BREAK THAT HE WAS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF IN FLORIDA.” (VO 3: LEPAGE AS GOVERNOR) IN 2017, LEPAGE PROPOSED ENDING THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION FOR MAINE RESIDENTS UNDER 65-YEARS- OLD. (SOT REP. MAUREEN TERRY, (D) GORHAM, 1:02:50) “WE DID STOP THAT FROM HAPPENING.” (VO 4: STAY UP…OTHER REPS…. STATEHOUSE… LEPAGE RECENT) REPRESENTATIVES MAUREEN TERRY…AND ANN MATLOCK, WHO SERVE ON THE LEGISLATURE’S TAX COMMITTEE, POINTED TO CONSEQUENCES OF LEPAGE, AS GOVERNOR, NOT FULFILLING MANDATES TO SHARE 5% OF STATE REVENUE WITH MUNICIPALITIES OR FUND 55% OF LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATION COSTS. (SOT REP. ANN MATLOCK, (D) SPRUCE HEAD, 59:05) “DURING HIS TIME IN OFFICE, FIVE OUT OF THE EIGHT YEARS, THE STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX RATE INCREASED.” (GFX #2: SOURCE: MAINE DAFS) IN 2021, MAINE GRANTED MORE THAN 319- THOUSAND (319,393) HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS THAT SAVED RESIDENTS A TOTAL OF $131 MILLION IN PROPERTY TAXES. (GOOGLE EARTH 74 FIRTH DRIVE IN BOOTHBAY ) THE LAST MAINE HOME THE LEPAGES OWNED…SEEN HERE ON “GOOGLE EARTH,” AT 74 FIRTH DRIVE IN BOOTHBAY, THEY PURCHASED IN 2014 FOR $215,000-IT HAD BEEN IN FORECLOSURE – AND RECEIVED THE MAINE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION IN 2015, 2016, AND 2017. THEY SOLD IN JUNE 2018, THREE MONTHS AFTER BUYING THE FLORIDA HOUSE, FOR $397,000, A $182,000 PROFIT IN FOUR YEARS. (VO 5: LEPAGE AND PHIL AUG 2020) THE LEPAGES MOVED BACK TO MAINE IN 2020. (SOT LEPAGE CAR. AUG 2020) “THAT MAINE RESIDENT.” (VO 6: ANN AND PAUL BALLOT DROP OFF FEBRUARY,,,,LAST MONDAY) THEY RENTED A HOUSE IN BOOTHBAY BUT NOW RENT IN EDGECOMB, OUTSIDE WISCASSETT. HE SWITCHED HIS VOTER REGISTRATION THERE IN JULY 2000; SHE DID SO IN THIS MAY..,AND HAS ASKED FLORIDA TO RESCIND THEIR HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION NEXT YEAR. THE LEPAGE CAMPAIGN DECLINED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS STORY. MAINE REPUBLICANS SAID, “THE LAST TIME DEMOCRATS CARED ABOUT TAXES THIS MUCH, THEY WERE TRYING TO RAISE THE GAS AND HEATING OIL TAX.” GOVERNOR JANET MILLS CLAIMS THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION TOO, FOR HER HOME, IN FARMINGTON. SHE AND THE LEGISLATURE ALSO RAISED

Maine Democrats question Republican Paul LePage’s homestead exemption for Florida home

Paul and Ann LePage have owned a house in Florida since 2018

Maine Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage is facing questions about his legal residency in Maine, and specifically, why he and his wife, Ann, are still receiving a property tax rebate in Florida available only to residents of that state. Maine and Florida both have homestead exemptions — Maine’s deducts $25,000 off the assessed value of a home for tax purposes, while Florida’s reduces the taxable value by $50,000. The LePages retired to Florida after he left office, in 2019, but even after moving back and renewing their voter registrations in Maine, they’ve claimed the exemption for their home down South.In March 2018, the LePages purchased a home at 40 Gale Lane, in Ormond Beach, Florida, outside Daytona, one hour northeast of Orlando.They paid $360,000 – and still own it – in Ann’s name, and received Florida’s homestead exemption in 2019, 2020, and 2021, according to the Flagler County Property Tax Appraiser Office, which said the benefit was worth $2,521 this year.Maine Democrats, outside their Augusta headquarters on Monday, called out LePage for claiming the Florida exemption while running for governor.Bev Uhlenhake, Vice Chair of the Maine Democratic Party, said, “He actually tried to eliminate the Homestead Exemption Act here in Maine. That’s the very tax break that he was taking advantage of in Florida.”In 2017, as governor, LePage proposed in his budget ending the homestead exemption for Maine residents under 65-years-old.”We did stop that from happening,” said Rep. Maureen Terry, a Democrat from Gorham who serves on the legislature’s tax committee, along with Rep. Ann Matlack, a Democrat from Spruce Head, who pointed to consequences of LePage, as governor, not fulfilling mandates to share 5% of state revenue with municipalities or fund 55% of local public education expenses.Matlack said, “During his time in office, five out of the eight years, the statewide property tax rate increased.”In 2021, Maine granted 319,393 homestead exemptions that saved residents a total of $131 million in property taxes, according to the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services.The LePages purchased the last Maine home they owned, a three-bedroom Colonial on a two-acre lot at 74 Firth Drive, in Boothbay, in July 2014, for $215,000 —below market, as it had been in foreclosure – and received the Maine homestead exemption in 2015, 2016, and 2017, according to Maine real estate records.The LePages sold in June 2018, three months after buying the Florida house, for $397,000, a $182,000 profit in four years, according to Maine real estate records.The LePages moved back to Maine in 2020, with Mr. LePage pointing to his Lexus with Maine license plates.“Yes, I’m a Maine resident,” he told WMTW in August 2020, first revealing his intent to challenge his successor, Democrat Janet Mills, this year.Initially, the LePages rented a house in Boothbay but now rent in Edgecomb, outside Wiscassett, in Lincoln County. He switched his voter registration there in July 2020, while Ann did so this May, according to Maine town voting records.Mrs. LePage has asked Florida to rescind their homestead exemption in 2023, according to the Flagler County Property Appraiser’s Office.The LePage campaign declined to answer questions about this story on Monday, after offering comments to the New York Times, which first reported on the issue on Saturday.In a written statement, Maine Republicans said, “The last time Democrats cared about taxes this much, they were trying to raise the gas and heating oil tax,” and pointed to a 2019 bill Rep. Matlack had co-sponsored to price carbon pollution in Maine.Governor Mills claims the homestead exemption too, for her home, in Farmington, Maine, according to her campaign.Mills and the legislature also raised the exemption from $20,000 to $25,000.

Maine Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage is facing questions about his legal residency in Maine, and specifically, why he and his wife, Ann, are still receiving a property tax rebate in Florida available only to residents of that state.

Maine and Florida both have homestead exemptions — Maine’s deducts $25,000 off the assessed value of a home for tax purposes, while Florida’s reduces the taxable value by $50,000.

The LePages retired to Florida after he left office, in 2019, but even after moving back and renewing their voter registrations in Maine, they’ve claimed the exemption for their home down South.

In March 2018, the LePages purchased a home at 40 Gale Lane, in Ormond Beach, Florida, outside Daytona, one hour northeast of Orlando.

They paid $360,000 – and still own it – in Ann’s name, and received Florida’s homestead exemption in 2019, 2020, and 2021, according to the Flagler County Property Tax Appraiser Office, which said the benefit was worth $2,521 this year.

Maine Democrats, outside their Augusta headquarters on Monday, called out LePage for claiming the Florida exemption while running for governor.

Bev Uhlenhake, Vice Chair of the Maine Democratic Party, said, “He actually tried to eliminate the Homestead Exemption Act here in Maine. That’s the very tax break that he was taking advantage of in Florida.”

In 2017, as governor, LePage proposed in his budget ending the homestead exemption for Maine residents under 65-years-old.

“We did stop that from happening,” said Rep. Maureen Terry, a Democrat from Gorham who serves on the legislature’s tax committee, along with Rep. Ann Matlack, a Democrat from Spruce Head, who pointed to consequences of LePage, as governor, not fulfilling mandates to share 5% of state revenue with municipalities or fund 55% of local public education expenses.

Matlack said, “During his time in office, five out of the eight years, the statewide property tax rate increased.”

In 2021, Maine granted 319,393 homestead exemptions that saved residents a total of $131 million in property taxes, according to the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

The LePages purchased the last Maine home they owned, a three-bedroom Colonial on a two-acre lot at 74 Firth Drive, in Boothbay, in July 2014, for $215,000 —below market, as it had been in foreclosure – and received the Maine homestead exemption in 2015, 2016, and 2017, according to Maine real estate records.

The LePages sold in June 2018, three months after buying the Florida house, for $397,000, a $182,000 profit in four years, according to Maine real estate records.

The LePages moved back to Maine in 2020, with Mr. LePage pointing to his Lexus with Maine license plates.

“Yes, I’m a Maine resident,” he told WMTW in August 2020, first revealing his intent to challenge his successor, Democrat Janet Mills, this year.

Initially, the LePages rented a house in Boothbay but now rent in Edgecomb, outside Wiscassett, in Lincoln County.

He switched his voter registration there in July 2020, while Ann did so this May, according to Maine town voting records.

Mrs. LePage has asked Florida to rescind their homestead exemption in 2023, according to the Flagler County Property Appraiser’s Office.

The LePage campaign declined to answer questions about this story on Monday, after offering comments to the New York Times, which first reported on the issue on Saturday.

In a written statement, Maine Republicans said, “The last time Democrats cared about taxes this much, they were trying to raise the gas and heating oil tax,” and pointed to a 2019 bill Rep. Matlack had co-sponsored to price carbon pollution in Maine.

Governor Mills claims the homestead exemption too, for her home, in Farmington, Maine, according to her campaign.

Mills and the legislature also raised the exemption from $20,000 to $25,000.



Source link

Comments are closed.