NEW: Joni Ernst Illegally Accepted Homestead Tax Deductions

Ernst claimed Washington, DC as her primary residence

“Senator Ernst clearly violated the law by seeking multiple homestead deductions,” said American Bridge spokeswoman Amelia Penniman. “Millions of Iowans pay their taxes on time under penalty of law. Why is it that Senator Ernst will only pay hers when she’s caught red-handed?”

Des Moines Register: U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst refunds $1,900 illegitimate tax break on D.C. condo; she also took break on Iowa home
By Jason Clayworth | Feb. 11, 2019

  • U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst last week repaid almost $1,900 for a tax break that she had claimed on her Washington, D.C., condo since 2016, while simultaneously claiming a similar tax break in Iowa. Homestead tax credits are available only to people who own property and claim the property as their primary residence.
  • “Her office said her claim of the homestead tax credit in Washington, D.C., was an error that she rectified with the check. Ernst wrote the check to the Washington, D.C., Office of Tax and Revenue Friday, two days after the Des Moines Register inquired about the matter.”
  • “Washington’s homestead tax application instructions specifically say members of Congress are generally not eligible for the break.”
  • “People convicted of fraud related to the tax break theoretically face up to 180 days in jail and a $5,000 fine, according to the application for the credit, which requires a signed affidavit.”
  • “The Ernsts claimed the Washington, D.C., homestead credit after their January 2016 purchase of a nearly $400,000 condo there. In August of that year, they purchased a home for $350,000 in Red Oak. Starting that year, and ever since, they have claimed both as primary residences on their taxes. The Iowa exemption saved the family at least $308 in property taxes, records show.
  • “American Bridge, a research group that claims it is ‘committed to holding Republicans accountable,’ unearthed the records and provided them to the Register following a story last month about Ernst’s divorce and her plans to remain a resident of Red Oak.”
  • “Senator Ernst clearly violated the law by seeking multiple homestead deductions,” said American Bridge spokeswoman Amelia Penniman. “Millions of Iowans pay their taxes on time under penalty of law. Why is it that Senator Ernst will only pay hers when she’s caught red-handed?”

Read the full story here.