Dogged by accusations that he isn’t actually a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and therefore not qualified to represent it in the US Senate, Republican Senate nominee Mehmet Oz is receiving a $50,000 tax break on the $3.1 million estate he bought but still doesn’t live in, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The Ohio native who lives in the New York suburbs of New Jersey–where he films campaign ads and was nominated for the state’s Hall of Fame–Oz purchased a 34-acre property in tony Lower Moreland Township (average household income $107,000, 40% more than the state average).
Curiously, Oz claims he “inherited” the estate, but in fact, he actually bought it in December 2021 for $3.1 million from the Academy of the New Church, the educational arm of the General Church of the New Jerusalem, according to sales records. The General Church of the New Jerusalem is a conservative offshoot of the Swedenborgian Church of North America, so unless Oz is claiming he’s a religious deity, it’s difficult to justify a claim that he inherited the property. Oz’s in-laws are prominent members of the church, but that doesn’t mean they owned the property… ’cause they don’t.
Neither Oz nor his wife has moved into the 7,300-square-foot, eight-bedroom manse on the property, with Oz claiming it’s unsuitable for habitation because of the renovations and redecorating they’re undertaking, so he continues to live in his Cliffside Park, New Jersey mansion. It was in that house that he filmed a campaign ad released last month. Oz claims he’s crashing at his in-laws’ house in nearby Bryn Athyn (average household income: $109,000).
The pseudoscience pitchman gets to enjoy a heritage tax break from the county amounting to $50,000 per year, thanks to a farmland preservation program that helps rich folk save money while not actually having to have their property used for agriculture. While Oz claims he “didn’t seek out” the tax break, paperwork shows differently: he and his wife filed paperwork to get the break under Pennsylvania Act 319, which provides for a reduction in property tax if the owners vow to leave the land undeveloped.
Oz gets to not live in a house he didn’t inherit, all while enjoying a tax break he claims he “didn’t seek out” by reapplying for the benefit. So, sure, it seems all on the up-and-up like most Republican candidates nowadays, right?