Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for a seat in the U.S. Senate, will receive a tax exemption for maintaining his primary residence in Texas, according to public records, even though he is running for election and lives in Georgia.
CNN first reported on Wednesday that Walker will receive a Texas property tax exemption for 2022, which would save him about $1,500. The exemption only applies to a Texan’s primary residence. Tax records show that Walker took tax breaks in 2021 and 2022, even though he registered to vote in Georgia and campaigned there against Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock.
It’s unclear whether Walker would violate Texas tax laws, and the Texas Comptroller’s Office notes that if you plan to return home to Texas and are “away, you can still get the break if you don’t have your primary residence elsewhere.” settles for “less than two years.” The U.S. Constitution also requires Senate candidates to reside only in the state they would serve if elected.
But the revelation fueled attacks from Democrats on the Republicans’ motives behind the Senate bid. The former NFL star has been criticized for his residency, despite his Georgia roots and his campaign efforts to juggle his football career. Having lived in Texas for more than 20 years, he registered to vote in Atlanta just days before announcing his candidacy for the office in 2021.
Walker has since voted twice in Georgia. The State Office maintains a flexible list of requirements for running the CNN report, meaning the core issue may be political rather than legal.
The Texas Tribune reported that the homestead exemption has been an eyesore for many politicians in recent years. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) paid property taxes after filing for an exemption on the house his daughter lived in when she attended Texas A&M University.
Walker will face Warnock on December 6 after no candidate received the vote to gain the 50% of the vote needed to win the seat in the November 8 election.