Since 2016, Rep. T.J. Cox (D-CA) has been claiming his second home in Maryland as his primary residents, in violation of federal tax law and Maryland law.
The Washington Free Beacon obtained documents showing that Cox claimed the second home was his primary residence when he sold it for $1.12 million in November 2019. By claiming it as his primary residence, he was able to “avoid a nearly $90,000 tax withholding levied on property sales made by nonresidents in Maryland,” the outlet reported. Cox reported that he made $80,000 to $200,000 in rental income from the second home between 2017 and 2019.
“Cox bought the Bethesda, Md., home for $1.05 million in 2016 as a place for his wife to live while studying at Johns Hopkins University. Under Maryland law, nonresidents claiming a property as their primary residence must live in the property for at least two of the last five years. According to his campaign, Cox never lived in the home himself, and his wife moved back to California just one year after purchasing the property, meaning the Democrat could not have met the state’s requirement,” the Free Beacon reported.
Cox’s claim that the home he sold was his primary residence was made under penalty of perjury. It is not his only violation of tax law regarding the property, the Free Beacon reported:
Cox previously claimed two homes—one in California and the one in Maryland—as his primary residence in 2016, 2017, and 2018, which violates federal tax law. His campaign initially blamed the blunder on Maryland, telling the Fresno Bee in 2018 that the state “automatically marked the home as Cox’s principal residence.” He then called it an “honest mistake” after documents revealed that he personally signed the deed, claiming he “filled out the principal residence not knowing the legal definition.”
After saying it was a mistake and was aware that marking the residence as his primary was wrong, Cox did it again when he sold the property in late 2019, the Free Beacon reported.
The outlet noted that this was also not the first financial scandal involving Cox:
Cox has been embroiled in financial scandals since launching his congressional campaign in 2017. The IRS filed liens against the Democrat in January showing $145,000 in unpaid federal income taxes for 2016 and 2017. The state of California went on to hit Cox with a new lien listing an additional $30,000 in unpaid 2017 taxes just weeks later. Cox loaned his campaign more than $250,000 from July 2017 to March 2018 while failing to pay his taxes in full.
In addition, Cox in 2017 was forced to pay $48,000 in unpaid income taxes dating back to 2015. The Democrat blamed the lien on the IRS, claiming he was the victim of “bureaucratic incompetence” as his “check was stuck on the back of somebody else’s payment.” Cox has also faced multiple liens against his businesses.
Cox voted against a bill that would require members of Congress to disclose tax liens.