Over the weekend, Bernie Sanders headed out to Montana to campaign with Rob Quist, and one of the stops yielded a moment that could be described as nothing else but the ultimate hypocrisy.
Bernie said that Quist would make billionaires and corporations “pay their fair share of taxes,” but we’re guessing no one told Bernie that the very candidate he was campaigning for has ties to a rental property not listed on state tax rolls, and he and his wife may have not paid their fair share on that same rental property. Awkward moment to say the least…
Considering Quist “may even be ducking property taxes that most of us would have to pay” according to the Billings Gazette, Bernie should probably look elsewhere to find a candidate with a lick of accountability when it comes to touting his economic agenda.
Take a look at the clip here.
The Billings Gazette: Quist has ties to rental property not listed on state tax rolls Montana’s Democratic U.S. House candidate, Rob Quist has ties to a rental property not listed on state tax rolls, public records show. Quist acknowledged the apartments Tuesday in an interview with The Gazette, but denied renting out the units. Advertising records and leasing contracts suggest otherwise. State property tax records don’t indicate those changes, taxing it instead as a barn with no living quarters. The Flathead County Assessor’s office also lists the structure as a barn. The distinction matters because the Department of Revenue generally recognizes apartment units as more valuable than barns. The tax amount owed on rental property is typically higher. The title to the property has been in Quist’s daughter’s name for a few years, with Bonni Quist retaining power of attorney. “Apartments are going to be worth more,” said Bob Story of the Montana Taxpayers Association. “The difference in valuation, if it was a barn on a piece of ag land, the tax rate would be 2.3 or 2.4 percent. If it was three apartments, it might be commercial property. Commercial is 1.89 percent, but the valuation is more. Story said the Montana Taxpayers Association scouted the Quist property for a potential event in 2002 or 2003. Apartment rentals also comes with state income and expense reporting requirements.
The Billings Gazette: In the race for Congress, it’s Gianforte Quist seems unable to tell the truth about his own finances and may even be ducking property taxes that most of us would have to pay.” We don’t have a clue where Quist stands on most issues, and his criticism of Gianforte seems to be either confused or completely without merit — for example, claiming that Gianforte had “Russian ties” when really the Republican merely has stock in a mutual fund.
Missoulian: ‘I don’t own that property’: Quist distances himself from apartments; renter comes forward A Flathead County renter who identified her landlord as the wife of U.S. House candidate Rob Quist, said she made out her checks to Bonni Quist and is now fighting with the candidate’s wife to get her full deposit back. Stephanie Michalzik’s story contradicts assertions by Rob Quist that the structure, a converted barn, is “not a rental property. It’s just something that’s kind of family-owned.’’ It’s also something that’s kind of murky. County, state and federal records paint a complicated and incomplete picture of when the barn was converted to apartments and where money from the rentals is going. Quist and his campaign have declined to provide additional clarity. Payment records from Stephanie Michalzik and three other renters show they have been paying rent to Bonni Quist for the past three years. But property tax records make no mention of living quarters at the site, listing four outbuildings and no dwellings. While Bonni Quist collected money from the renters, the tenants’ records show, she and her husband did not report rental income on their income taxes for 2015 or 2016, according to tax documents the Quist campaign gave to the Associated Press.
The Washington Post: Sanders raises stakes in tight Montana race The response, splayed across local and conservative news sites — and then TV ads — was a barrage of revelations. Quist had played at a nudist colony. He’d been busted for marijuana possession in the 1970s. He’d renovated a property without reporting it on his taxes. He’d stiffed a home contractor. Nearly three-quarters of TV ads run in Montana were pro-Gianforte or anti-Quist; the closing spots from the National Republican Congressional Committee feature testimonials from people whom Quist left holding a bill.
The Hill: Rental dispute raises more questions about Montana Dem’s finances Republicans have seized on the report in the final days before the Thursday election. The Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC tied to the House GOP leadership, fired off the story to reporters, noting that rental income must be disclosed and taxed under federal law.