Let’s face it. Hating to pay taxes is an American tradition. That sort of hatred is what started the American Revolution, and what drives millions of Americans to vote for “conservative” politicians time after time. Getting tax breaks is akin to Manna from Heaven.
And that’s fine…unless you made a name for yourself railing at the “rich” to pay more in taxes and then you get caught trying to lower your own burden.
That’s the mousetrap House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the richest woman in Congress, finds herself in.
Just days after President Trump signed the sweeping tax bill into law late last month, Pelosi and her husband tried to preserve $64,000 in property tax breaks, known as the state and local taxes (SALT) deductions, for her two California homes. The new tax law limits the deduction to $10,000 and went into effect Jan. 1.
Like many taxpayers with big property tax bills across the country, the Pelosis in late December prepaid the second half of their 2017-2018 property tax bills for their $7.2 million estate in San Francisco’s tony Pacific Heights and Napa vineyard and residence worth more than $4 million, according to San Francisco city-county and Napa county property records.
The couple paid the full annual property taxes on their luxury Washington Harbor condo on the Georgetown waterfront before the tax bill became law.
Paying the taxes earlier than the 2018 bills require is a smart accounting move that could save the Pelosis tens of thousands of dollars. However, it also illustrates a Republican talking point about the tax bill: that the new law is eliminating tax breaks that primarily benefit the wealthy.
Truthfully, the Pelosis are behaving like typical, informed Americans. They want to save money where they can. However, it does not look good when the former Speaker of the House, who constantly lectures the rest of us on needing to pay more in taxes, scrambles to pay tax bills early in order to avoid the elimination of a tax perk via the state tax deduction she benefited from for decades.
And, really, that $187,000 in taxes? It could support 3-4 families of typical Americans for an entire year.
The richest woman in Congress might consider that.