Like every Indiana homeowner, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock is entitled to one, and only one, homestead tax deduction. But Mourdock took two and he did so for three years," spokesman Andy Fisher said. "He says he didn't notice he was cheating, but Mourdock studied his tax statement closely enough to appeal his assessed value - yet didn't notice he was getting a $45,000 deduction on the next line of his bill. Like other Indiana property owners, Mourdock received multiple 'pink forms' stating that reporting his homestead deduction was his responsibility."
According to the state's Homestead Verification Fact Sheet, "homestead fraud occurs when an individual or married couple receive the benefit of more than one homestead deduction or claim the deduction on property that is not their primary residence."
"Homestead fraud causes taxpayers who follow the law to pay more money to support local police and fire protection among other local services," Fisher said. "Voters have the right to question if the state treasurer didn't care, was incompetent or a tax cheat."The facts of the homestead exemption have been vetted and proven to show that the error was made by the Marion County Auditor's office, which accepted responsibility for applying the homestead exemption to Mourdock's Indianapolis condominium. The application had been filled out by the previous owner, and the office inadvertently extended it to Mourdock after he purchased it even though he didn't fill out the required paperwork to claim the exemption. Mourdock brought the error to the attention of the Auditor's office and repaid the difference in property taxes he owed. For Lugar to even imply that Mourdock had engaged in homestead exemption fraud is beyond the pale. This demonstrates just how desperate he has become. Polls are showing that he cannot possibly win the Republican primary race unless he carpet bombs Mourdock to drive up his negatives even higher than Lugar's own disapproval numbers.
It's also quite hypocritical for Lugar to accuse Mourdock of cheating on his taxes when Lugar was caught red-handed illegally billing the federal government to the tune of nearly $15,000 for trips he made back to the state of Indiana while the Senate was not in session. Lugar blamed the mistake that apparently was made for more than three decades on an "arcane Senate rule" that his staff didn't know about. Yep, just an arcane rule that says you can't bill taxpayers for overnight travel to the place you claim as your residence in your home state. It still remains unclear whether Lugar has properly reimbursed taxpayers as his office refuses to disclose an audit of his expense reimbursements to determine whether all of the money owed to taxpayers has been repaid. Former Sen. David Durenberger was censured and prosecuted for doing the same thing a little more than a decade ago. A Washington, D.C. watchdog group, Committee for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to open a formal investigation of Lugar.
Public records also reveal that Lugar and his wife have accepted all-expense paid foreign travel courtesy of a global think tank, Aspen Institute, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past decade alone. Adding up all the time Lugar spent on these all-expense paid trips while the Senate wasn't in session, Lugar spent more than a year traveling the globe at the expense of the think tank that promotes a New World Order agenda that he has supported as Indiana's senior senator instead of spending time in Indiana representing the people he was elected to represent. It's no wonder that Lugar sold the only home he owned in Indiana 35 years ago and moved to his permanent new home in McLain, Virginia just outside the nation's capital.
I've been telling folks for some time now that the old guard establishment in this state that is backing Lugar has decided that a lesson must be taught to anyone who bucks it. The old guard is engaged in an all out effort to destroy Mourdock. The party establishment seeks to blame Mourdock for Lugar's woes when the reality is that Lugar has nobody but himself to blame for his political problems. He long ago lost touch with Hoosiers, who have rightfully reached the conclusion that 36 years is long enough for any one politician to serve in Washington. In a tantrum fit for an infant, the old guard wants to exact its punishment on Mourdock and ensure that he loses the general election to Donnelly if their man Lugar can't hold on to a Senate seat he has decided shall be his for the asking, or until his death, whichever occurs first. Lugar could have ended his career gracefully, but he chose not to do so. It's his legacy that will permanently suffer as a result of the way he has conducted this campaign, and it's his own party that will suffer the loss of a Republican seat that should have remained safely in Republican hands.