Democratic nominee Bill Enyart in the 12th U.S. House race accused GOP rival Jason Plummer on Friday of claiming an owner-occupancy tax exemption for a home in Edwardsville where he does not live.
Enyart said in a telephone news conference that Plummer applied for and received the homestead exemption for a house he has owned for several years in Edwardsville, which is not in the 12th District, after he moved to a duplex near the Fairview Heights-O’Fallon border.
Enyart said Plummer’s continued efforts to shave $6,000 off the assessed value of his property in Edwardsville through the homestead exemption is an example of “Plummer bending the rules to make himself wealthier.”
Plummer’s campaign in a written response said, “As anybody who pays property taxes knows, the homestead exemption is automatic and is applied to the 2012 taxes for the year 2011. Jason Plummer lived in the house in 2011, so he received the homestead exemption. When he pays his property taxes in 2013 for the year of 2012 - when he didn’t live there - he will not take the exemption.
“This is common sense. The fact that Bill Enyart is ‘attacking’ Jason Plummer for following the law shows just what a desperate and frivolous campaign he is running. Jason Plummer will continue to run a campaign based on the issues.”
According to Madison County documents, Plummer’s homestead exemption was renewed on March 26, 2012, after he moved to St. Clair County, a check by the News-Democrat showed.
During the teleconference, Enyart also:
* accused Plummer of labeling his campaign staff as independent contract workers, rather than employees, in order to save money on payroll taxes, including workers’ compensation insurance and Social Security.
* used non-union workers on an electrical project, for a company owned by Plummer’s family, who were paid half of what union electricians would get and without benefits.
In his statement, Plummer did not address these accusations.
“Plummer is not for the middle class or the working people,” Enyart said. “He is making his own rules. And this is a problem that we have in Washington, D.C.”