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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Posted by Jill | 9:36 PM
If you can't manage to pay your fucking property taxes, why should we trust you with the budget of an entire nation?

When you're poor, it can be hard to pay the bills. When you're rich, it's hard to keep track of all the bills that need paying. It's a lesson Cindy McCain learned the hard way when NEWSWEEK raised questions about an overdue property-tax bill on a La Jolla, Calif., property owned by a trust that she oversees. Mrs. McCain is a beer heiress with an estimated $100 million fortune and, along with her husband, she owns at least seven properties, including condos in California and Arizona.

San Diego County officials, it turns out, have been sending out tax notices on the La Jolla property, an oceanfront condo, for four years without receiving a response. County records show the bills, which were mailed to a Phoenix address associated with Mrs. McCain's trust, were returned by the post office. According to a McCain campaign aide, who requested anonymity when discussing a private matter, an elderly aunt of Mrs. McCain's lives in the condo, and the bank that manages the trust has not been receiving tax bills on the property. Shortly after NEWSWEEK inquired about the matter, the McCain aide e-mailed a receipt dated Friday, June 27, confirming payment by the trust to San Diego County in the amount of $6,744.42. County officials say the trust still owes an additional $1,742 for this year, an amount that is overdue and will go into default July 1. Told of the outstanding $1,742, the aide said: "The trust has paid all bills shown owing as of today and will pay all other bills due."

So AFTER the story breaks the McCains pay the taxes? How difficult is it to call the tax assessor and give him/her the correct address to which to send the bills?

If the McCains can't handle owning eight houses, perhaps they ought to consider being more like the common people they're trying to pass as and sell a few of them.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich folks do not get that way by SPENDING money. Real estate taxes are not an investment that will increase in value nor an ostentatious expense that will generate envy in others.

I'm sure the thinking is that when [if!?] the county comes after the property some lawyer will negotiate a settlement for substantially less than is owed. And even if he can't, the taxes not paid over time generated far more income than the penalty will be. So bottom line: Paying taxes is for "losers" baby, not for the rich!

And on another note, I can't believe there is any decent property in LaJolla that would be taxed at "only" $1700 - or even at $6000. I pay that much and I'm not in California, near a beach, or living in luxury. The place -- for her "aunt"!? -- must be a real dump..

Anonymous Anonymous said...
A year ago I recieved a notice from my tax collector that my real estate taxes were six months past due. Since my real estates taxes are paid by my mortgage company, which holds an escrow account for such things, I contacted the tax collectors office to find out if they sent the bill. I learned that the bills had been returned due to an incorrect address for the mortgage company.

Subsequent digging revealed that the mortgage company had notified the tax collector of the address changed, but the tax office made an error in typing in the zip code, so the bills were being mailed to an incorrect address.

Once corrected, the mortgage company paid my taxes current.

Does this make me a deadbeat?

As for the first commentor stating that a lawyer can negotiate a settlement for past due real estate taxes, that only occurs when you can prove the original assessment was too high in the first place. The tax assessor has plenty of leverage to get the whole amount because they can take your house and tell your mortgage company to eat the mortgage. And they don't even need lawyers to do that.

In life, there are such things as clerical errors that aren't conspiracies.

Blogger Bridget Magnus said...
Another little detail. Every mortgage I have ever seen has an escrow account associated with it whose sole purpose is to make sure insurance and property taxes are paid. That's to prevent default.

The fact that there were back taxes to be paid would indicate that the property was purchased with cash, or that the mortgage was paid off at least 4 years ago.

But remember, the black guy who grew up in a single-parent household is the elitist.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Money doesn't make one elitist.......an obtuse attitude toward your fellow man makes you elitist. I'm sure the bitter clingers can acquaint you with that.