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The Courts

Journal Cy Guy's Journal: Has Harriet Miers been cheating on her taxes?

I was pointed to the issue by a comment on Think Progress blog entry. The commenter noted that it looks like Miers has been claiming her Dallas home as her "residence" and thus claiming what ends up to be a reduction of over $3,000 for her Real Estate tax. Since she has been working (well over) fulltime in DC since at least January 20th, 2001, it seems a pretty long commute to have her residence in Dallas still after all this time.

Of course this is exactly unusual, George H. W. Bush claimed a TX apartment as his residence for tax purposes thereby avainding DC's Income tax. Has Miers also been avoiding her DC Income Tax? Anyway, here is more info on her Real Estate exemption:

Here's a direct link to the Homestead Exemption History for Miers' Dallas residence. It certainly does look like she has been claiming the exemption each year. per the rules for the general Homestead Exemption (the only one she could be eligible for as a never-married women under age 65) I can only assume that she makes sure she flies down there every New Year's Day as that is the only day during the year she is required to "reside there" to obtain the exemption.

Here is the full text for that section of the form guidance:


General Residential Homestead Exemption

        To qualify, the property must be designed or adapted for human residence and the homeowner must own the property on January 1 of the year application is made. The person claiming the exemption must reside at the property on January 1 and cannot claim a homestead exemption on any other property. If more than one individual (not a married couple) owns the property, each separate individual must make application if they reside at the property. Exemptions are allocated according to percent of ownership interest the applicant has in the property. The exemption application must be completed, notarized and include a driver's license or social security number and date-of-birth.

If she has been claiming the exemption without qualifying, the main concern to me wouldn't be that she was cheating on her taxes, it would be that she was committing perjury by signing a false legal document.

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Has Harriet Miers been cheating on her taxes?

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The only perfect science is hind-sight.