Home is where the exemption is

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Is Democrat mayoral candidate Kathy Taylor a Floridian or an Oklahoman? The Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports that Kathy Taylor and her husband Bill Lobeck claimed homestead exemptions in both states:

The chief executive of one of the nation's largest car rental companies and his politician wife owe more than $130,000 in back taxes and penalties on their Fort Lauderdale waterfront mansion because they claimed homestead exemptions both here and in Oklahoma, according to the Broward Property Appraiser's Office.

The bill being sent to William Lobeck and Kathryn Taylor is the largest levied since Property Appraiser Lori Parrish launched her fraud investigation unit a year ago. Lobeck is the head of Vanguard Car Rental, which moved its headquarters from Fort Lauderdale to Tulsa in 2004. Taylor stepped down as Oklahoma's commerce secretary earlier this year and is running for mayor of Tulsa.

The couple owns a $2.9 million home on a finger isle off Las Olas Boulevard and an $8 million home in Tulsa. Under Florida law, property owners may claim only one homestead exemption and it must be on their primary residence.

Lobeck said Thursday he has asked his lawyer to discuss the matter with the county and he will pay any additional taxes he owes. He said he had considered himself to be a Florida resident. ...

Broward property records indicate Lobeck applied for the tax exemptions in Fort Lauderdale in 1998, while Oklahoma records obtained by Cacciatore show homestead exemptions for the couple there dating back to 1999.

To confirm Lobeck's claim to Florida residency, I called the Broward County election board and confirmed that Bill Lobeck is still registered to vote on Royal Plaza Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, with a date of birth that matches his voter registration record in Oklahoma. (The clerk wasn't able to find Kathryn Lobeck or Kathryn Taylor as a currently registered voter there. I didn't ask, but I wonder if they keep records of when someone is removed from the rolls.)

So where is home for Kathy Taylor? Records of her federal campaign donations in recent years show her sometimes listing a home address in Oklahoma and sometimes listing a home address in Florida. If he's a resident of Florida, and she's a resident of Oklahoma, that means we have two mayoral candidates who don't live within a thousand miles of their spouses. (Randi Miller's husband lives in St. Croix, Virgin Islands.)

UPDATE: KOTV.com had this headline on their home page earlier today: "Florida appraiser: Tulsa mayoral candidate owes back taxes..." When I first clicked on the link, it lead to an AP story on that topic. Now it leads to a story on rules for Oklahoma's "racinos." And now the headline is missing from their site. Is someone at KOTV trying to shield Taylor from embarrassing news?

The AP story is still on KTUL's website.

UPDATE from MickaŽl Lucchini, KOTV's webmaster, at 1:31 pm:

From the News Room: we had to put this story offline because of AP restrictions (Tulsa World has online exclusivity).

Also, a mistake has been made and the link to the downed "Taylor" story has been assigned to the "Racinos" story. We are correcting this at the moment.

I replied letting him know that KTUL still had the story up.

UPDATE from MickaŽl Lucchini, KOTV's webmaster, at 1:46 pm:

From the News Room: following discussions with the AP, KOTV.com has been authorized to publish this story. The direct link is http://www.kotv.com/main/home/stories.asp?whichpage=1&id=99528


Joey Author Profile Page said:

"we had to put this story offline because of AP restrictions (Tulsa World has online exclusivity). "

The Tulsa World *is* behind everything :-)

susan said:

Before I read the comments above, I also wondered what kind of "baggage" Kathy or the husband/wife wealthy couple have in the past/present if she is elected as Mayor of Tulsa.

I can't wait to see the slant the Tulsa World has on this!

It's time for Marlette to do a cartoon on this!

XonOFF said:

I'm pretty sure Oklahoma, Tulsa County in particular, has a similar regulation regarding homestead exemptions.

So, if they claimed homestead in FL, they are also in violation of the Oklahoma statute.

Hope our assessor gets right on that.

Bob said:

Ms. Kathy Taylor has caught herself in a trap.

My claiming Homestead exemption in Oklahoma, she saves very little money ($1,000 against the Assessed Value) on the value of her $8,000,000 primary residence. Oklahoma's homestead exemption hasn't been increased in over 65 years. It's a mere pittance. Yet, claiming it does establish her RESIDENCY in Oklahoma.

Their claim of a double Homestead exemption on their $2.6 million Florida estate does however save them some REAL money ($130K), Florida being a progressive, high growth state with NO INCOME TAX. That's why Mr. Lobeck is a FLORIDA resident. He's the Mr. Moneybags of their power partnership.

I wonder how they file their STATE tax return in Oklahoma? Hmmmmh? She HAS to file if she has income in Oklahoma. Maybe Married Filing Separately? If they file JOINT, then he has to be a RESIDENT. Then, HE's caught for Oklahoma taxes on his multi-million dollar per year income. OUCH!

So, she's going to have to bite the bullet and pay the $130K to Florida Real Estate tax arrearage,or else she may NOT be an eligible resident in Oklahoma.......AND cannot serve as Mayor if elected.

Quite a legal mess for a Lawyer......

OU Law grad you say. Probably explains it!

susan said:

I wonder if Kathy will drop out of the race
like Cathy Keating did when things weren't going
her way. Cathy Keating also had plenty of money to help her in her race like Kathy Taylor.
Cathy Keating also had a husband that brought
negative publicity like Bill Lobeck is bringing to the Kathy Taylor race. Frank Keating just happened to forget to reveal the Dreyfus money
There was Keating/Dreyfus scandal -- still Frank Keating was offered the very lucrative paid position that he still has today in Washington, DC.
(Commerce) "Secretary" -- a person employed to keep files and records -- is Kathy still claiming that was a job well mastered?

I wonder if Doug Doug was the attorney that gave the "tip" about Bill Lobeck claiming homestead exemptions in both states? I am guessing Doug's wife Elaine would like McCorkell to win and does
not consider Kathy Taylor to be the Democrat of
choice in this race.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 24, 2006 11:42 AM.

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