Chrys Kefalas Claiming Homestead Tax Deduction in DC
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chrys Kefalas is claiming a Homestead Tax Deduction on a condo he owns in the Mount Vernon Square area of Washington, D.C.
The 692 square foot condo is listed with Kefalas (under his full name Chrysovalantis Kefalas) as the owner. A search of the property on the Real Property Assessment Database from the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue brings up this result:
According to the search, the property is currently still receiving the Homestead Deduction.
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This benefit reduces your real property’s assessed value by $71,700 prior to computing the yearly tax liability.
The Homestead benefit is limited to residential property. To qualify:
An application must be on file with the Office of Tax and Revenue;
The property must be occupied by the owner/applicant and contain no more than five dwelling units (including the unit occupied by the owner); and
The property must be the principal residence (domicile) of the owner/applicant.
If a properly completed and approved application is filed from October 1 to March 31, the property will receive the Homestead benefit for the entire tax year (and for all tax years in the future). If a properly completed and approved application is filed from April 1 to September 30, the property will receive one-half of the benefit reflected on the second-half tax bill (and full deductions for all tax years in the future).
That means, according to the description of the credit above, that Kefalas is continuing to receive the Homestead Deduction because he is or has claimed it as his principal residence. It is one of many addresses that Kefalas claimed on campaign finance donations in Maryland last year:
It is already well know and has been reported here at Red Maryland that Kefalas was not living in Maryland last year while he was contemplating his run for U.S. Senate, and was certainly not living in Maryland to vote in the general election in 2014 (during which he supported Heather Mizeur anyway). As the Washingtonian reported:
But living in DC with his partner, Tommy McFly, host of the popular early-morning Tommy Show on Fresh FM 94.7 (“He’s my champion, my rock,” Kefalas says), and working for the Obama administration, he dreamed of running for office as a Republican. He was at work in February—he currently is a vice president at the National Association of Manufacturers—when news broke that Mikulski was stepping down. “No question,” McFly texted him. “Just run.”
To do so, Kefalas plans to move back to Baltimore, where his family still runs a Sparrows Point crabhouse called Costas Inn, and strike a “Lincoln Republican” stance: strong on economic opportunity and equal rights.
During 2015, while Kefalas was clearly living in the District of Columbia, it made a lot of sense for Kefalas to claim the Homestead Exemption. However, it’s illogical for Kefalas to do so when he is clearly running for office in another state. This means one of two things:
- Chrys Kefalas is claiming a tax credit that he is not entitled to; or,
- Chrys Kefalas is not a resident of Maryland.
Since Kefalas qualified on the ballot to run for U.S. Senate (one must be a registered voter in order to run) it clearly seems that it is the former. Which is interesting because a Washington Post story about the Deduction had this to say:
It’s important to cancel these exemptions promptly when the homeowner is no longer eligible. Use the Cancellation of Homestead Deduction Form available at the Taxpayer Service Center Web site. D.C. law requires the owner of the property no longer eligible for an exemption to file the cancellation form within 30 days of the date the property is no longer eligible.
Properties can become ineligible for several reasons — for example, when a property is sold to an investor or the purchaser is not domiciled in the District and becomes ineligible for the homestead exemption.
That leaves three basic questions for Kefalas:
- Did Kefalas notify the D.C. Office of Tax Revenue that his property would no longer be eligible for the Homestead Deduction?
- Has Kefalas received notification that the Homestead Deduction no longer applies to his property?
- If Kefalas has not notified the D.C. Office of Tax Revenue that his property would no longer be eligible for the Deduction, why not?
Let’s not forget that this isn’t the only issue with Kefalas and paperwork that has come up recently, with his issues with the FEC.
These are all very simple questions to answer, but they are important. Because Kefalas opened himself up to charges of carpetbagging the minute he entered into this race before he even moved back to Baltimore. He’s exacerbated them by outsourcing his phone banking and outsourcing his fundraising to Washington. He is a creature of Washington, for Washington.
Between this Homestead Deduction issue and his support for Heather Mizeur in 2014, we have reason to question if Kefalas is both a Marylander and a Republican.