A few weeks ago, the Telegraph uncovered that Havenstein "saved $5,354 from 2008-11 by getting a homestead exemption from local property taxes in Bethesda, Md. He also paid a lower state property transfer tax while buying the property in that state. To get both, Havenstein had to acknowledge that his $1 million condominium was his 'principal residence." The New Hampshire's Constitution requires candidates for Governor to "have been an inhabitant of this state for 7 years next preceding."
"Since 2007, Maryland law has required homeowners to sign a form under penalty of perjury attesting that the homestead property is owner’s principal. That form specifically asked if the property was your principal residence, was it where you filed your income taxes, where you had your drivers license, and where you voted from," said former New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan. "By taking that homestead exemption, Havenstein gave up any claim to New Hampshire residency during those years, raising serious doubts about his eligibility to run for governor of New Hampshire."
Havenstein has a litany of questions that are plaguing his early candidacy, and thus far, the only defense his team has been able to muster is that he was a “statutory resident” of Maryland for tax purposes, but maintained his domicile in New Hampshire. [Source: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20140402/NEWS06/140409857] Under Maryland law, anyone who is inthe state for more than 183 days a year is considered a statutory resident for income tax purposes. [Source: http://www.concordmonitor.com/news/politics/11414964-95/republican-havenstein-enters-nh-governors-race-despite-eligibility-questions]
"What Havenstein isn’t telling you, is that in Maryland, statutory residency is an income tax category for the purposes of paying Maryland income taxes, not the homestead exemption. Homestead is a property tax category, governed by the Maryland laws on homestead and property taxes," Sullivan said. "Being a statutory resident for income tax purposes doesn’t make you eligible for the homestead property tax credit that Havenstein took. Only those domiciled in Maryland can take that break. Homestead equals domicile and domicile equals homestead."
"Given these facts, Havenstein is left with a very uncomfortable situation - either he was domiciled in Maryland as recently as 2011 and therefore ineligible to run for Governor of New Hampshire or he misled Maryland tax officials to get a tax break he wasn't entitled to," Sullivan concluded.
A Nashua Telegraph expose outlined how Walt Havenstein took Maryland property tax breaks that required his principal residence to be in that state, raising a host of questions and placing his candidacy in doubt.
The Telegraph uncovered that Havenstein “saved $5,354 from 2008-11 by getting a homestead exemption from local property taxes in Bethesda, Md. He also paid a lower state property transfer tax while buying the property in that state. To get both, Havenstein had to acknowledge that his $1 million condominium was his ‘principal residence' where he was living at least seven months of the year." [Nashua Telegraph, 3/23/14]
Just last weekend, a Nashua Telegraph emphasized Havenstein's problems stating that he was either "ineligible to run for the office or committed tax fraud in Maryland." [Nashua Telegraph, 3/31/14]
That same report found that in addition to registering a car in Maryland, Havenstein briefly held a driver’s license in that state. New Hampshire doesn’t allow someone to hold a valid driver’s license in this state while having an active license in another state. [Nashua Telegraph, 3/31/14, State of New Hampshire, accessed 4/2/14]