Dr. Mehmet Oz is facing a huge new tax break controversy in Florida amid his Pennsylvania political campaign, which has also drawn tax scrutiny.
Oz, a retired cardiothoracic surgeon and Turkish-American television personality known for his series Dr. Oz, is set to receive a huge tax exemption on his Palm Beach County mansion.
The Miami Herald reported:
A multimillion-dollar upgrade to his beachfront mansion in the area — including the installation of a new outdoor pool and spa — led to Palm Beach County commissioners on May 3rd signing off on a tax exemption meant to encourage the rehabilitation of old historic homes. The abatement, according to documents reviewed by the Miami Herald, could save Oz a half-million dollars or more over the next 10 years.
The Herald went on to share that Oz has been fending off "attacks that he is an interloper and ongoing criticism that he owns 10 homes," all while this new tax exemption -- and the money Oz invested into the Florida economy to receive it -- is a reminder of the deep ties he has to the Sunshine State.
Oz has, in fact, previously referred to his Palm Beach property as "heaven." His clear passion for Florida has led to additional criticism regarding his political campaign in Pennsylvania.
In the Keystone State, Oz is set to receive a controversial $50,000 a year tax break on his manor in the Philadelphia area.
This program is officially known as the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's "Clean and Green" tax incentive. This is only part of a larger initiative, Act 319, that encourages property owners throughout the state to hold back land from development by automatically entitling them to preferential property tax assessments.
The webpage for the program notes that it "bases property taxes on use values rather than fair market values."
The program has no income restrictions, which has led to its controversy. In largely wealthy Montgomery County alone, about 140 landowners -- including Oz and his wife, Lisa Lemole -- have benefitted.
Intriguingly, Oz has yet to even live in the Montgomery County, PA property and is currently residing with his in-laws in Bryn Athyn as he continues his U.S. Senate campaign on the Republican ticket.
What do you think about Doctor Oz's recent property tax controversies?
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