Herschel Walker, running for U.S. Senate in Georgia, still gets tax break on $3 million Texas residence

DALLAS, Texas (TEXAS TRIBUNE) – Herschel Walker, the former Dallas Cowboys running back and Republican candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Georgia, is set to get a tax break on his $3 million residence in a Dallas-Fort Worth suburb – potentially against Texas tax law.

According to Tarrant County Land and Tax Records, Walker applied for a homestead exemption on his four-bedroom home in Westlake in 2021 and is expected to do so again this year, even after registering to vote in Georgia last year. last year. Walker has since voted in two elections there, CNN reported.

The exemption saved Walker more than $1,200 on his property tax bill last year, according to records from the Tarrant County Assessor-Collectors show, and would earn him more than $1,500 $ in savings this year.

The exemption from Walker’s Texas homestead could also raise questions about his Georgia Senate race. He is in a runoff with U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock, the incumbent Democrat, in a race to determine how much Democrats will control the Senate over the next two years. The US Constitution requires public office holders to live in the state in which they are elected.

Under Texas law, homeowners can claim a homestead exemption — which exempts a certain amount of a home’s value from tax — only on their principal residence. But homeowners can still claim the exemption if they “do not establish a principal residence elsewhere…intend to return to the house… [and] are absent for less than two years,” according to the state comptroller’s office.

Walker purchased the home in Westlake in 2011, according to Tarrant County appraisal records. He has claimed the exemption on his Texas home since 2012, records show, allowing him to pay a lower tax bill to the city of Westlake and the Keller Independent School District. School districts make up the bulk of any given homeowner’s tax bill in Texas.

Spokespersons for Walker and the Tarrant County Assessor-Collector did not immediately return requests for comment.

Homestead exemptions have been difficult ground for Texas politicians in the past.

This year alone, the Texas Tribune reported that U.S. Representative Vicente Gonzalez, a McAllen Democrat, and his wife enjoyed double tax breaks for at least eight years by claiming ownership exemptions on two homes, which allowed them to save at least $2,300 in property. secondary residence taxes. A spokesperson for Gonzalez said the congressman would refund taxes on the second property.

Then-Governor. Rick Perry, a Republican, said he would refund $183 in property taxes on a home where his daughter lived while attending Texas A&M University after media reported in 2009 that he had applied for an exemption on the home.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a longtime GOP opponent of property taxes, had to repay $595 in taxes while working as a talk show host in 2005 after receiving exemptions on two properties in the area of Houston, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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