Adam Schiff, a veteran congressman and a candidate for the California Senate, is currently under scrutiny for allegedly claiming dual primary residences in Maryland and California for over a decade. This has raised questions about his eligibility for tax exemptions intended for homeowners.
Schiff’s announcement to run for the Senate seat in January 2023 could face potential setbacks due to the controversy surrounding his residential claims.
For years, Schiff has been the owner of a large 3,420-square-foot home in Maryland. However, he has also been taking advantage of a homeowner’s tax exemption on his significantly smaller 650-square-foot condo located in Burbank, California, by designating it as his primary residence.
The congressman was successful in reducing his property taxes by $7,000 through this maneuver, which translates to approximately $70 in yearly savings. However, it’s worth noting that Schiff did not seek a similar exemption for his Maryland property.
According to CNN, Schiff’s use of a personal check to pay his California property taxes in 2017 has added fuel to the controversy, as the check displayed his Maryland address. This was the only year he used a personal check to pay his property taxes.
Moreover, several sources, including previous remarks, social media publications, and records, indicate that Schiff mainly lives in Maryland, despite officially designating his Burbank condo as his primary residence.
According to an insider who spoke with The Post, the congressman spends very little time at his California apartment. The residence is a modest one-bedroom, one-bathroom setup.
As Schiff prepares for the California Senate primary, he finds himself up against some tough competition in the form of fellow Democratic Representatives Katie Porter and Barbara Lee. This recent revelation adds another layer of challenge to an already heated race.
According to the deed records, Schiff established his Maryland property as his main dwelling back in 2003 after buying it for $870,000.
Schiff designated the Maryland property as his primary residence when he refinanced his mortgage in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
The Burbank condo owned by Schiff, which was bought back in 2009 for $298,000, has raised concerns due to the notarization of the deed records in Maryland instead of Los Angeles County.
Schiff’s records have been modified to change the location from “California” and “Los Angeles” to “Maryland” and “Montgomery County.” Furthermore, his Maryland address has been listed as the return address, adding to the speculation about his actual primary residence.
CNN spoke with Schiff’s campaign spokesperson, Marisol Samayoa, who maintained that Schiff’s main residence is located in Burbank, despite growing evidence indicating that he primarily resides in Maryland.
In his statement, Samayoa highlighted different news articles and his own book to stress that Schiff and his spouse had moved to DC to prioritize spending more time with their kids while fulfilling his responsibilities as a congressman.
According to Samayoa, Schiff had identified both his California and Maryland addresses as primary residences for loan purposes, differentiating them from vacation homes. He claimed that both properties are occupied year-round.
Although Adam Schiff’s 2010 to 2014 campaign website biography stated that he was raising his family in Burbank, there was no mention of his Maryland home.
In 2020, Schiff made a move to refinance his mortgage, which suggests that his Maryland property is now considered his secondary residence.
In 2021, Schiff’s social media post as well as school publications and athletic records from the same year indicate that he was still residing in the Maryland home.
On Schiff’s website, there is a family photo from 2021 that provides evidence of the exterior of his Potomac home in Maryland. Additionally, various social media posts from the past year, many of which were shared publicly by Schiff himself, indicate that he still lives in Maryland.
Schiff proudly displayed his “I Voted” sticker on June 7, 2022, during the Democratic primary for the Los Angeles mayor’s race. He shared a photo on Twitter, standing in front of his home in Maryland.
However, the spokesperson of Schiff affirmed that he was present in Washington, DC, for the House votes and cast his vote via mail.
In order to be eligible for a homeowner’s exemption in California, one must establish their dwelling as their “true, fixed, and permanent home” and the primary location they intend to return to whenever they are away.
To determine residency, various factors are taken into account such as in-state presence, vehicle registration, voter registration, bank accounts, and state income tax filings.
Residency concerns are not new for politicians vying for Senate positions, and Schiff’s case is no exception.
Several politicians, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rick Santorum, Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker, and Pat Roberts, have faced similar predicaments as the congressman.
Sen. Laphonza Butler had to undergo re-registration to vote in California as it came to light that she had claimed residency in Maryland during her appointment to the vacant Senate seat left by Dianne Feinstein.