A Massachusetts Investment Banker Turned Politician Engages in Tax Chicanery. Inconceivable!

Republican Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez of Massachusetts has a slight tax problem (boldface mine):

Republican US Senate nominee Gabriel E. Gomez claimed a $281,500 income tax deduction in 2005 for pledging not to make any visible changes to the facade of his 112-year-old Cohasset home, a concession so valuable that it is classified as a charitable contribution under a federal law designed to protect historic homes.

But Gomez and his wife, Sarah, were already barred from making any changes to the exterior of their home under the bylaws of the local Historical Commission, raising the question as to whether their donation — the price of which is based on the loss of value in their real estate — had any monetary worth….

Five weeks after the Gomezes claimed the deduction, the Internal Revenue Service listed programs such as this — that involve the “contribution of a historic facade easement to a tax-exempt conservation organization” — as one of its “Dirty Dozen tax scams.”

Dean Zerbe, former senior counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, who investigated abusive tax breaks, asserts the deduction for facade easements is “unconscionable” because it is almost exclusively for the “one percent.”

All this is a tax break shenanigan that all the blue bloods on Beacon Hill and the swells in Georgetown take advantage of,” said Zerbe, who worked for Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa when he chaired the committee. “It is wealthy people playing fast and loose. Nobody is taking tax breaks on mobile homes.

Gomez is private equity investor. Fellow Massachusettsans, we’ve seen equity guys with shady tax dodges before. It didn’t work out well then, and it won’t now.

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