Herschel Walker Running for US Senate in Georgia Still Gets $3 Million Texas Home Tax Break

Herschel Walker, the former Dallas Cowboys running back and Republican candidate running for a US Senate seat in Georgia, is slated to get a tax break on his $3 million residence in a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth, which could violate Texas tax law.

According to Tarrant County property and tax records, Walker claimed a homestead exemption on his four-bedroom Westlake home in 2021 and is expected to do so again this year, even after registering to vote in Georgia last year. Since then, Walker has voted in two elections there, CNN reported.

The exemption saved Walker more than $1,200 on his property tax bill last year, Tarrant County tax collector records show, and would net him more than $1,500 in savings this year.

Walker’s homestead exemption in Texas could also raise questions about his Senate bid in Georgia. He is in a runoff with US Sen. Raphael Warnock, the Democratic incumbent, in a race to determine how tightly Democrats will control the Senate over the next two years. The US Constitution requires public officials 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 home equity from tax, only on their primary residence. But homeowners can continue to claim the exemption if they “do not establish a primary residence elsewhere… intend to return to the home… (and) are gone less than two years,” according to the state comptroller’s office. .

Walker bought the Westlake home 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 for the city of Westlake and the Keller Independent School District. School districts account for the largest portion of any Texas property owner’s tax bill.

Spokesmen for Walker and the Tarrant County tax collector did not return requests for comment.

The Homestead exemptions have been fraught territory for Texas politicians in the past.

Just this year, the Texas Tribune reported that US Representative Vicente Gonzalez, a Democrat from McAllen, and his wife had twice taken advantage of property tax breaks for at least eight years by claiming homestead exemptions in two homes, saving them at least $2,300 in property. Second home taxes. A spokesman for González said the congressman would pay back taxes on the second property.

So-Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, said he would pay $183 in property taxes on a home where his daughter lived while she attended Texas A&M University after media reports in 2009 that he had claimed an exemption on the house.

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

Disclosure: Texas A&M University and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts have financially supported the Texas Tribune. Financial backers play no role in the Tribune’s journalism.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans about public policy, politics, government, and state affairs.

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