US Senate Republican hopeful Herschel Walker is the beneficiary of a tax break for Texas permanent residents — a possible violation of Texas law and residence rules for voting and political candidacy in Georgia, CNN reported Wednesday.
Records verified by the network show that Walker benefited from the Texas homestead tax exemption and saved approximately $1,200 from his 2021 tax bill for his $3 million Dallas-Ft. home. Valuable suburb of Westlake. The Texas Tribune reports that the former NFL star is expected to apply for the rebate again this year and would likely save about $1,500.
In response to the report, incumbent Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock – who will run against Walker on December 6 after neither candidate received 50% of the vote in this month’s midterm elections – asked on Twitter: “How can Herschel Walker help Georgians represent if he does? not even claim our great state as his principal residence?”
According to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, “only a homeowner’s primary residence” qualifies for the break.
As CNN detailed:
Questions have swirled around him since Walker actively explored the possibility of a Georgia Senate nomination last year, with Democrats and Republicans alike slamming Walker on the matter.
Running for and voting for office in Georgia takes into account 15 residency rules, not all of which need to be met, including where the resident is claiming their home tax exemption and where they intend to live permanently. The US Constitution only requires that a potential senator be a resident of his state at the time of his election.
“The state Supreme Court said that a homestead exception alone is not conclusive evidence that could disqualify a candidate,” Anthony Michael Kreis, a law professor at Georgia State University, told CNN.
“At the end of the day, this is in all likelihood a political issue rather than a legal one…on which Walker can be described as a carpet digger,” Kreis added. “The question arises as to whether Walker’s change of residence was made in good faith.”
In fact, comparisons to failed Republican Senate nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz — whom US Democratic Senator John Fetterman’s campaign successfully portrayed as a New Jersey opportunist who had no contact with the Pennsylvanians he wanted to represent — Twitter feeds after the story went public.
Charles Kuck, a professor at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta, tweeted: “Herschel Walker is a liar, a carpet digger and an idiot. Please choose responsibly. #VoteWarnock.”