Bad Deeds for 8-8-2012

Romney Avoided Over $100,000 in Property Taxes

“Mitt and Ann Romney were easily able to afford a $12-million La Jolla home. But that didn’t insulate them from the winds buffeting the real estate market in the months following their purchase in 2008. After paying cash for the Mediterranean-style house with 61 feet of beach frontage, they asked San Diego County for dramatic property tax relief,” the Los Angeles Times’ Robin Abcarian reports. “San Diego County assessor records shed light on one sliver of the couple’s personal taxes during that time: a months-long effort to reduce their annual property tax bill. Initially, the Romneys asked that their 2009 assessment, $12.24 million, be reduced to $6.8 million, maintaining that their home had lost about 45% of its value in the first seven months they owned it. Thirteen months later, after hiring an attorney to guide them, the Romneys filed an amended appeal, contending the home had suffered a less-dramatic fall of 27.3%, to $8.9 million. They also filed an appeal for the 2010 tax year, claiming the house had dropped further, to $7.5 million, 38.7% less than the home’s assessed value. As a result, the Romneys have avoided about $109,000 in property taxes over four years.”

Romney Skirted Taxes in Italy, Also – Bloomberg says it was prudent for Romney to skip Italy on his Europe swing. “That’s because Bain Capital, under Romney as chief executive officer, made about $1 billion in a leveraged buyout 12 years ago that remains controversial in Italy to this day,” Jesse Drucker, Elisa Martinuzzi and Lorenzo Totaro report. “Bain was part of a group that bought a telephone-directory company from the Italian government and then sold it about two years later, at the peak of the technology bubble, for about 25 times what it paid. Bain funneled profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg, a common corporate strategy for avoiding income taxes in other European countries, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg News. The buyer, Italy’s biggest telephone company, now has a total market value less than what it paid Bain and other investors for the directory business. In Italy, the deals have spurred at least three books, separate legal and regulatory probes and newspaper columns alleging investors made a fortune at the expense of Italian taxpayers. Boston-based Bain wasn’t a subject of the inquiries, which didn’t result in any charges…Romney himself probably earned more than $50 million, and possibly as much as $60 million from the Italian directory sale of Seat Pagine Gialle SpA, according to a person familiar with the matter. The deal turned into one of the biggest windfalls of his tenure.”

Republican Texas State Senator Vows to Use Public Money for Private Schools – State Sen. Dan Patrick, the Houston Republican who anchors the rightmost wing of his party’s caucus in the Senate, has vowed to make private-school voucher legislation a focal point of his efforts in the 2013 session of the state legislature. According to the Houston Chronicle, Patrick said, “To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session….Our base has wanted us to pass photo voter ID for years, and we did it. They’ve been wanting us to pass school choice for years. This is the year to do it, in my view.”

Right-wing legislators like Sen. Patrick have been trying in vain to pass voucher legislation in Texas, transferring public tax dollars from public to private schools, for decades, session after session. Last year the pressure for private-school vouchers slacked off a bit, as legislators were preoccupied with funding cuts that deprived Texas public schools of more than $500 annually per pupil—an unprecedented $5.4 billion in cuts, all told, leading to the loss of more than 25,000 jobs, inflated class sizes, and the elimination of valuable educational services such as full-day pre-kindergarten.

Money for private schools – profit: the rich get richer.

Romney Invested Millions in Chinese Company That Benefited from US Outsourcing – Romney invested millions in a Chinese company that profited nicely from U.S. outsourcing. ”On April 17, 1998, Brookside Capital Partners Fund, a Bain Capital affiliate, filed a report with the Securities and Exchange Commission noting that it had acquired 6.13 percent of Hong Kong-based Global-Tech Appliances, which manufactured household appliances in a production facility in the industrial city of Dongguan, China. That August, according to another SEC filing, Brookside upped its interest in Global-Tech to 10.3 percent. Both SEC filings identified Romney as the person in control of this investment: “Mr. W. Mitt Romney is the sole shareholder, sole director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Brookside Inc. and thus is the controlling person of Brookside Inc.” Each of these documents was signed by Domenic Ferrante, a managing director of Brookside and Bain.”

Romney Tax Plan is Mathematically Impossible According to FactCheck.org and Two Tax Policy Groups – The non-partisan FactCheck.org has analyzed the Romney tax plan and has concluded that Romney’s promises are mathematically impossible. That’s also the conclusion of the Tax Policy Center and an expert from the pro-business Tax Foundation, who states that the Tax Policy Center analysis “correctly identified the Romney plan as a tax cut, at least in static terms, that accrues mainly to high-income earners.”

Regards,

Jim

 

 

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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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