Property taxes late on McDonnell-owned vacation home in Va. Beach

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by Nick Ochsner, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on July 10, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 13 at 12:24 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH - A 13News Now investigation has uncovered tax documents showing a company owned by Governor Bob McDonnell and his sister were late in paying property taxes owed on a vacation house the pair owned in Virginia Beach.

McDonnell owns MoBo Real Estate Partners, LLC with his sister. The company owns two vacation rental houses in Sandbridge. Tax documents obtained from the Virginia Beach Treasurer's Office shows the company was delinquient in paying taxes on one of the two houses for a three year period spanning from 2010-2012.

Property taxes in Virginia Beach are due twice a fiscal year: once in December and again in June.

Tax records show MoBo paid its property taxes for one of the homes late on both due dates in FY 2010, two months late for the second payment in 2011 and three months late for the second payment in FY 2012.

Tucker Martin, a spokesman for McDonnell, said the governor was unaware of the late payments because his sister is the managing partner of the company.

John Davis, who represents McDonnell's sister, said his client was unaware of the late payments until our request for comment. Davis said the company paid a business manager to handle the company's bills until last September.

According to Davis, both homes owned by MoBo have been refinanced and property tax payments are being made out of an escrow account tied to the mortage.

A report in the Washington Post Wednesday revealed that Jonnie R. Williams Sr., CEO of Star Scientific, loaned $75,000 to MoBo.

Williams'  recent gifts to McDonnell and his family have come into question. According to the story, McDonnell's wife was also given $50,000 by Williams.

Martin pushed back on the story in a statement to 13News Now.

"The governor has been diligent over the years in making his financial disclosures," Martin said. "As this article notes, the loan to the First Lady was disclosed in accordance with Virginia's reporting requirements.  As the article also notes, loans to businesses are not required to be disclosed."

Wednesday's revelations aren't good news for the governor, according to Dr. Chuck Dunn, a political analyst and longtime political science professor who also spent years working on Capitol Hill.

Dunn, who is retired from Regent University, says he expects calls for McDonnell's resignation to increase in the wake of Wednesday's story.

Tucker Martin statement:
"Star Scientific and Jonnie Williams have not received any board appointments, economic development grants, targeted tax incentives or government contracts during this administration. The governor has been diligent over the years in making his financial disclosures. As this article notes, the loan to the First Lady was disclosed in accordance with Virginia's reporting requirements. As the article also notes, loans to businesses are not required to be disclosed. Finally, regarding a gift to one of the governor's children, Virginia law does not require the reporting of gifts to family members."

 

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