Herschel Walker claimed tax breaks for people living in Texas

Herschel Walker claiming a tax break for primary residence in Texas while running for Senate in Georgia may add to the long list of eyebrow-raising reports he will likely have to explain in the final weeks of his campaign. Public records show that Walker, a Republican, currently benefits from a tax break for a home he owns in Dallas that only applies if that home is your “principal residence,” CNN’s KFile first reported Wednesday. He reportedly took the tax exemption in both 2021 and 2022 after launching his bid for Georgia’s Senate. As CNN noted, claiming the roughly $1,500 in Texas savings “may violate both Texas tax rules and some of Georgia’s rules about establishing residency for the purpose of voting or running for office.”

Walker is up against the Democratic senator in a runoff election on Dec. 6 Rafael Warnock, a race that will conclude the 2022 interim cycle. Walker registered as a voter in Georgia in 2021 after living in Texas for two decades. Per CNN:

> To run for office and vote in Georgia, 15 rules are considered, not all of which need to be met, for establishing residency, including where the resident gets his home tax exemption and where he intends to stay permanently to live. The U.S. Constitution only requires a potential senator to be a resident of their state when elected.

In Texas, meanwhile, homeowners who move can continue to receive a tax break if they don’t establish a “principal residence” elsewhere and plan to move back to the state within two years, according to CNN. The Walker campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Walker’s campaign has faced almost constant turbulence since its inception. There have been multiple allegations, which he has denied, that he pressured partners to have abortions despite being a staunch anti-abortion candidate. Among other things, he has admitted to a history of domestic violence, said he’s not sure the evolution is real, lied about being an FBI agent and police officer, boasted about owning companies that don’t exist, and said he graduated in the top 1% of the University of Georgia, despite never having graduated. His own campaign staff anonymously told the Daily Beast that he is a “pathological liar.”

None of these reported revelations sank Walker’s candidacy enough to give Warnock an outright victory in November. But the former Heisman Trophy winner spectacularly underperformed other leading Republicans in the state. Whether the latest report on his out-of-state tax status will affect the outcome of the run-off remains to be seen. That said, a similar “he’s not from here” message was fruitful for Pennsylvania Democrats in defeating Mehmed Oz.

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