When Romney said he didn't overpay his taxes, he sure wasn't kidding. In the heart of the economic downturn, the Romneys busied themselves with a valiant effort to make sure they didn't pay one penny more in property taxes than was absolutely necessary. The LA Times reports:
After paying cash for the [12 million dollar] Mediterranean-style house with 61 feet of beach frontage, [the Romneys] asked San Diego County for dramatic property tax relief....Initially, the Romneys asked that their 2009 assessment, $12.24 million, be reduced to $6.8 million, maintaining that their home had lost about 45% of its value in the first seven months they owned it.
Thirteen months later, after hiring an attorney to guide them, the Romneys filed an amended appeal, contending the home had suffered a less-dramatic fall of 27.3%, to $8.9 million.
They also filed an appeal for the 2010 tax year, claiming the house had dropped further, to $7.5 million, 38.7% less than the home's assessed value.
As a result, the Romneys have saved about $109,000 in property taxes over four years.
Heaven forbid a guy worth a quarter of a billion—give or take a few hundred million—should pay $100,000 extra in taxes in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. That money might go to people in need! How are the poors going to pull themselves up by their bootstraps if the Romneys pay for a chunk of their food stamps?