1278 Glenneyre, #20
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
June 13, 2011
Commissioner Navjeet K. Bal
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
P. O. Box 7010
Boston, MA 02204
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
McCormack Building, Room 1705
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Dear Commissioner Bal and Secretary Galvin:
I want to bring to your attention possible voter registration, residency and state income tax irregularities pertaining to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
As you may recall, Mitt Romney had residency issues when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002. He had switched his official residency to Park City, Utah just three years earlier. After much wrangling, blaming others for the mistake and back taxes paid, Mr. Romney was allowed to run for Governor in spite of Massachusetts’ seven year residency requirement.
Did the Romneys Move to California?
In May 2008, Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, purchased a home in LaJolla, California for $12.5 million.
See “Mitt Romney takes to life in new California home.” By Glen Johnson, Associated Press. April 19, 2010.
“Since losing his presidential bid in 2008, Romney has gone West Coast. It’s part of a personal and political repositioning as he looks to avoid campaign trouble spots and reorder his life ahead of a second White House campaign in 2012.”
Recent conversations with Belmont residents, business owners and members of the Boston Massachusetts Mormon Temple all point to the fact that Mitt Romney moved to California.
1. The proprietor of the local fish market remarked: “They flew the coop. They moved to California.” He added, “I haven’t seen Mrs. Romney in over two years, and she used to come in here all the time.”
2. A member of the nearby Mormon Temple and Meetinghouse in Belmont, Massachusetts, where Mitt and Ann Romney were weekly church goers, said she “hadn’t seen the Romneys since 2008.”
3. Their realtor at Coldwell Banker who sold them their new town home in Belmont stated, “Oh, they moved to California.”
Did They Move to New Hampshire?
In May 2009, it was widely reported that former Governor Romney had switched his official residence to a home in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. The home, which Governor and Mrs. Romney built in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, is valued at more than $10 million.
By moving to New Hampshire, did they avoid the hefty Massachusetts personal income tax rate for most of 2009 and half of 2010? See “A Granite State Home Base for Romney?” The National Journal. by Erin McPike and James A. Barnes, May 6, 2009.
“Mitt Romney… appears to be… making his primary residence at the family home in New Hampshire, the site of the first-in-the-nation presidential contest.”
“Asked where Romney will establish a primary residence for the purposes of paying taxes and voting, Fehrnstrom demurred. “I have no announcements to make on residency,””
Family Home Sold in Belmont, Massachusetts
Register to Vote at Son’s House
On April 4, 2009, the Romneys sold their house in Belmont, MA for $3.5 million
Six weeks later, both former Governor Romney and his wife, Ann, reregistered to vote at their oldest son Tagg’s home in Belmont.
The Romneys claimed they moved from their $3.5 million home around the cormner into Tagg’s basement apartment. This is where they registered to vote in May 2009 and voted for 15 months.
Massachusetts election law is clear. One must only register to vote at his or her official residence
According to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 51: Section 1: “Every citizen eighteen years of age or older… who is a resident in the city or town where he claims the right to vote at the time he registers… may have his name entered on the list of voters in such city or town, and may vote therein in any such election.”
Massachusetts case law defines residence as, “Where a person dwells and which is the center of his domestic, social and civil life.”
The AP’s Glen Johnson reported that, “They still do not own a property in Massachusetts, forcing them to claim temporary residence at a basement apartment in the Belmont home owned by their eldest son, Tagg. It’s the address Romney used to vote in Republican Scott Brown’s recent victorious Senate special election race.”
“Mitt Romney takes to life in new California home.” By Glen Johnson, Associated Press. April 19, 2010.
Back to a Basement Apartment?
Romney claims that for much of 2009 and the first five months of 2010 they lived in their oldest son’s, Tagg Romney’s, basement apartment. When Mitt and Ann Romney were first married in 1970, the young couple and their infant son Tagg lived in “a $75 per month basement apartment in Provo, UT while they were students at Brigham Young University (BYU). Now 40 years later they are back in a basement apartment and again living with their son Tagg?
In a November 15, 2007 New York Times article entitled, “Romney, Searching and Earnest, Set His Path in ’60s,” David Kirkpatrick states,
“Mr. Romney describes the time as ‘his glory days,’ Tagg Romney said. Mitt and Ann settled into a $75-a-month basement apartment. Studying with new discipline, he graduated at the top of the humanities college. He built wading pools for his wife and son out of rocks in a nearby river.”
Town Home Purchased in Belmont, Massachusetts
After 15 months, the Romneys purchased, an attached townhome also in Belmont, Massachusetts. The Romneys had been registered to vote at their basement apartment for at least 15 months.
During this period they voted in several elections. Governor Romney even missed a vote on April 10, 2009 when his absentee ballot was received too late.
Questions for the Secretary to the Commonwealth
1. Can the Romneys prove that they were living in their son’s basement apartment for 15 months from April 2009 to July 2010?
2. Do they swear that their son’s basement apartment was their primary residence?
Department of Revenue Investigation
With all the unanswered questions about the Romneys voter registration, I ask the Department of Revenue to investigate to determine exactly where the Romneys declared their residency for the purpose of paying Massachusetts state income tax.
As of July 2010, they again own property in Massachusetts. Are they official Massachusetts residents paying all necessary Massachusetts income taxes?
1. Why would a man of Mr. Romney’s wealth, which has been estimated at $500 million, reside in his son’s basement apartment when he owned two homes both worth over $10 million?
2. How much would the Romneys have saved on their 2009 and 2010 Massachusetts state income tax if they were actually New Hampshire residents?
Request for Investigation
I formally request a thorough and complete investigation into the voting records and residency of former Governor Mitt Romney to discover if he violated election and tax laws by claiming to reside at his son’s basement apartment.
cc: Governor Deval Patrick
Attorney General Martha Coakley