24 March 2010

Don't hate the player...

AP | NFL player and Congressional candidate Jon Runyan uses donkeys for tax break

MOUNT LAUREL — Congressional candidate Jon Runyan has taken advantage of a property tax break in New Jersey by selling firewood and grazing donkeys.

The veteran NFL lineman is retiring to seek the Republican nomination for a 3rd District House seat, held by first-term Democrat John Adler.

Runyan owns a 20-acre spread in Mount Laurel and, on the 5 acres around his house, his tax bill last year was $57,000. On the other 15 acres, it was just $468 because he gets a break for registering it as farmland.

Tax records show he uses five acres for four donkeys and 15 for timber. Last year, he harvested seven cords, selling them for $810.
Hahahahaha. I love it. Way to game the system.

This, by the way, is Reason #164,728 we ought to have a simpler tax code.  However, as long as we're stuck with the byzantine monstrosity we've got I fully support people looking out for their interests and responding to the incentives the law creates.  I find it silly that something completely legal like this is considered dangerous to Runyan's campaign, but people scoff when you suggest that an incumbent like Charlie Rangel ought to lose his seat for blatantly illegal funny business on his taxes.

FYI This is apparently a pretty typical thing for NJ property owners to do. The Philly Inquirer names a handful of other NJ politicians who have done the same.

(Via Future Mrs SB7)

PS Big Ol' Jon Runyan started in 208 consecutive NFL games. Two hundred and eight.

PPS — edited to add 25 Mar 10 — Rangel distributed a glossy booklet of tax advice to his constituents a couple of days ago. You couldn't make that shit up. Like Tom Clancy said, "The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense."

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