David McCormick (Capital-Star file)
David McCormick, the GOP candidate running to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, apparently paid the county property taxes on the house he owns in Pittsburgh late the past two years, public records show.
The payments were not filed so late that they triggered any delinquent tax case or lien filing against the property. But it may raise questions about why such relatively small amounts were not paid on time by someone as wealthy as McCormick, and how much time he spends in the state he wants to represent in Congress.
Allegheny County’s real estate website shows a 5-bedroom house at 117 Woodland Road in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood was sold to All American LLC in November 2021, for $2.8 million. A property deed filed Nov. 30, 2021 with the Allegheny County Recorder of Deeds shows David McCormick is a member of All American LLC.
The tax website shows that in 2023, property taxes for 117 Woodland were paid a month late, on May 12, 2023, incurring a 5% penalty of $659.17, and interest of $131.83 for a total of $791. The total of property taxes paid in 2023 so far is $13,974.46, according to the county website.
In 2022, the property taxes were paid 4 months late, on Sept. 12, incurring a 5% penalty of $659.17 and interest of $527.34, for a total of $1,186.51. The total in property taxes paid in 2022 for 117 Woodland Road was $14,369.97, the website shows.
In response to an email seeking comment, a McCormick campaign spokeswoman told the Capital-Star: “This was a two week old bill that was immediately taken care of and paid in full at the time.”
Democrats have hammered McCormick on the residency issue, something that proved highly problematic for the last Republican who ran for a Pennsylvania U.S. Senate seat: Mehmet Oz. During the 2022 midterm election, Democrat John Fetterman’s campaign repeatedly pushed the notion that Oz actually resided in New Jersey.
McCormick has addressed the questions about whether he lives in Connecticut by explaining that as a divorced parent, he frequently visits his daughter in Connecticut. But during campaign appearances, McCormick has insisted he not only grew up in and started a business in Pennsylvania, that he lives here currently.
McCormick was born in Washington County, Pennsylvania and grew up near Bloomsburg. The Associated Press reported in August that he lists his Connecticut address on public documents. McCormick also has not received a residency homestead tax exemption on his house in Pittsburgh, the AP reported, noting that in 2022, McCormick and his wife, Dina Powell McCormick, had a net worth between $95.7 million and at least $196.7 million.
During his Sept. 21 campaign launch event in Pittsburgh, McCormick greeted the audience as “my fellow Pennsylvanians” and referred to himself as a seventh-generation Pennsylvanian. He touted his experience running FreeMarkets, a company that was acquired in 2004 for $493 million.
“I am Pennsylvania first, I was born and raised here,” he said at the launch event.
Democrats have not been persuaded, and have continued to suggest that McCormick actually lives in Connecticut, regardless of how much time he spends in either state.
“David McCormick spends so little time in Pennsylvania, he can’t even remember to pay taxes on the house he’s lying about living in,” Maddy McDaniel, senior communications adviser to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, said in response to a request for comment.
Allegheny County property taxes
Property taxes are an especially contentious issue in Allegheny County, as both candidates seeking to become the county’s next chief executive have detailed in their campaigns. The county uses 2012 as its base year to set assessed property values for tax purposes, and there has been no county-wide reassessment since 2013. A judge decided last year that the county was using an inflated figure for its common-level ratio, as that figure is known, and ruled it should be lowered. That ruling has led to a backlog of property tax assessment appeals.
Whether the county should do a reassessment is a sore point; Republican candidate for county executive Joe Rockey has raised concerns that it would result in a tax hike on homes of people who could least afford it, but Democrat Sara Innamorato has said that not having regular assessments “disproportionately burdens middle-class, low-income, and Black families.”
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