Underscoring Unanswered Questions About Havenstein’s Eligibility and Tax Issues
Concord, NH– The New Hampshire Democratic Party has filed a reply to Walt Havenstein’s petition with the Ballot Law Commission, underscoring key questions about Havenstein’s eligibility and tax issues that were left unanswered by his own self-challenge.
Havenstein’s own petition omitted key facts about his Maryland mortgage application, homestead property tax credit, driver’s license, and other pieces of information that indicate he was a principal inhabitant of the State of Maryland.
“Walt Havenstein’s self-challenge of his residency fails to answer Granite State voters’ key question: ‘if Havenstein thought he was a New Hampshire resident, why did he take a tax break only available to Maryland residents?’” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley. “Walt Havenstein's self-serving self-challenge omitted a host of key facts about actions he took – including under oath – to establish himself as a Maryland resident. Far from putting questions about his eligibility to rest, Havenstein’s self-challenge actually raises a number of new questions, such as whether he paid New Hampshire Interest and Dividend taxes in 2010-2011, and if so, where are the returns?”
In his petition, Havenstein attached New Hampshire Income and Dividends Tax returns for 2006-2009 and 2012 – but not for 2010 and 2011, years he was working at a Virginia-based company and living in Maryland.
In addition, the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s filing highlights the many instances where Havenstein claimed Maryland was his principal residence, including:
· Affidavit of Purchaser Regarding Exemption from Recordation Tax (See Exhibit A of the filing)
· Certification of Exemption from Withholding Upon Disposition of Maryland Real Estate Affidavit of Residence or Principal Residence (See Exhibit B of the Filing)
· Maryland Mortgage (See Exhibit E of the filing)
· To take advantage of State and County “homestead credits” (See copies of tax records attached as Exhibit C)
· To obtain a Maryland Driver’s License. Havenstein has admitted in his petition, as well as to various journalists, that he obtained a Maryland Driver’s License. As part of the Maryland Driver License Application, the individual must show proof of residency in the State of Maryland. (See Exhibit F of the filing for a complete list of required documents to obtain a Maryland Driver’s License)
“The fact remains that Havenstein is either ineligible to run in New Hampshire or was misleading Maryland on his taxes. Right now, Havenstein appears to be arguing that he was misleading on his taxes, but either way it’s clear he’s wrong for New Hampshire,” added Chairman Buckley.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party’s reply to Havenstein’s self-challenge establishes that during critical years in the seven year period prior to the November 2014 election, not only has Havenstein failed to provide any indication that he designated New Hampshire as his principal place of residence, he has repeatedly declared his principal place of residence to be Maryland. Even as recently as June 30, 2012, Havenstein declared Maryland to be his principal residence in order to take homestead tax credits.
Highlights from the Filing:
· “Mr. Havenstein’s actions in declaring his principal residence to be in Maryland in order to claim a homestead tax credit, effectively stripped him of all rights to claim residency in New Hampshire under New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Laws and all other statutes which provide benefits or privileges to residents of New Hampshire.” (Paragraph 62)
· “During the critical seven year period, the man who would be our governor was ineligible for a resident fishing license (RSA 214:9); ineligible to attend state colleges at tuition rates applicable for a resident; ineligible for resident discounts at state ski areas (RSA 227:14) and ineligible for disability and veterans exemptions to New Hampshire real estate taxes (RSA 72:37b and RSA 72:28).” (Paragraph 66)
· “It is instructive to note that, in a manner totally consistent with all cases interpreting the phrase ‘inhabitant’ in our Constitution, RSA 21:6 is clear that for all statutory purposes, ‘inhabitant’ is an exact synonym of resident and is distinctly different from the concept of domicile in that it includes a requirement that a person manifest a clear intent to make New Hampshire the site of his or her permanent place of abode.” (Paragraph 67)
· “Following Mr. Havenstein’s hiring by SAIC, Inc., the corporate headquarters was moved from San Diego, California to McLean, Virginia. A published report at the time stated that when Mr. Havenstein was hired, ‘Havenstein was based near Washington when he worked for BAE, and has ties to the area. When he was hired in June, SAIC, Inc. announced that his primary office location would be McLean.’” (Paragraph 59)
· “Mr. Havenstein’s employment and other ties to Bethesda predated the acquisition of his Maryland home. In 2009, an article in the San Diego Union Tribune regarding Havenstein’s hiring by SAIC, Inc. stated, ‘The new man in charge is Walt Havenstein, who has lived and worked in the Washington, DC area for the past six years … SAIC’s new headquarters is 20 minutes from Havenstein’s home in Bethesda, Maryland – three minutes longer than his former commute to BAE’s headquarters …’ [emphasis added]” (Paragraph 60)
· “In addition to his multiple declarations of residency and employment in the State of Maryland, Mr. Havenstein has had significant personal and social contacts in the Bethesda, Maryland area. He grew up in Maryland and attended high school there. In a message written by him for his high school class reunion he stated, “From Walt: Judy (Prange) and I celebrate our 37th anniversary today, 41 years after graduating from WCSH with the Class of 1967. Our 19th move brought us back to Bethesda 18 months ago. Judy spends most of the year in New Hampshire where our son and daughter-in-law live, I stay busy traveling and working in Rockville and London, occasionally getting to NH.” (Paragraph 68)
Click here to download the NHDP's Reply to Havenstein's BLC Petition.
Click here to download Exhibits A-M.
Click here to download Exhibit N.
Click here to download Exhibit O.