California Senate hopeful and longtime congressman Adam Schiff is facing intense scrutiny over allegations that he has been claiming dual primary residences in Maryland and California for more than a decade, all while enjoying tax exemptions intended for homeowners.
The controversy surrounding Schiff’s residential claims could spell trouble for his bid for the Senate seat, which he announced in January 2023.
Schiff has owned a spacious 3,420-square-foot home in Maryland for years, yet has simultaneously taken a homeowner’s tax exemption on his much smaller 650-square-foot condo in Burbank, California, designating it as his primary residence.
This maneuver resulted in a $7,000 reduction in property taxes for the congressman, equal to roughly $70 in annual savings. Schiff did not apply for a similar exemption for his Maryland property.
The controversy deepens as tax records show that in 2017, Schiff paid his California property taxes with a check displaying his Maryland address — the only year he used a personal check for this purpose, according to CNN.
Furthermore, evidence from various sources — including past comments, social media posts and records — suggests that Schiff predominantly resides in Maryland, despite officially claiming his Burbank condo as his primary residence.
One insider told The Post the congressman is “rarely at his California apartment,” which is a modest one-bedroom, one-bathroom residence.
The revelation comes as Schiff faces stiff competition in the California Senate primary against fellow Democratic Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee.
Deed records reveal that Schiff designated his Maryland property as his primary residence in 2003 when he purchased it for $870,000.
In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, Schiff refinanced his mortgage and consistently indicated the Maryland property as his primary residence.
Los Angeles County deed records for Schiff’s Burbank condo, purchased in 2009 for $298,000, raise eyebrows as they were notarized in Maryland.
The records feature alterations that replaced “California” and “Los Angeles” with “Maryland” and “Montgomery County,” listing Schiff’s Maryland address as the return address. This inconsistency further fuels doubts about his true primary residence.
Despite the mounting evidence suggesting that Schiff primarily resides in Maryland, his campaign spokesperson, Marisol Samayoa, speaking with CNN, remained adamant that his primary residence is in Burbank.
Samayoa referenced various news mentions and his book, emphasizing that Schiff and his wife had relocated to the DC area to spend more time with their children while he carried out his congressional duties.
Samayoa also stated that Schiff listed both his California and Maryland addresses as primary residences for loan purposes to distinguish them from vacation properties, asserting that both properties are occupied throughout the year.
Still, Schiff’s 2010 to 2014 campaign website biography, which claimed he was raising his family in Burbank, makes no mention of his Maryland home.
However, in 2020, Schiff refinanced his mortgage, indicating that the Maryland house was his second home.
Yet a social media post from 2021, and school publications and athletic records from the same year, suggest that Schiff was still living at the Maryland home.
A telling family photo on Schiff’s website from 2021 matches the exterior of his Potomac home in Maryland. Moreover, numerous social media posts from the past year, some publicly shared by Schiff himself, strongly suggest that he continues to reside in Maryland.
On June 7, 2022, on the day of the Democratic primary in the Los Angeles mayor’s race, Schiff posted a photo on Twitter in front of his Maryland home, wearing an “I Voted” sticker.
Despite this, his spokesperson insisted that Schiff was in Washington, DC, for House votes and had voted by mail.
To qualify for a homeowner’s exemption under California law, the dwelling must be the individual’s “true, fixed, and permanent home and principal establishment to which he/she, whenever absent, intends to return.”
Factors used to determine residency include in-state presence, vehicle registration, voter registration, bank accounts and state income tax filings.
Schiff’s case is not unique, as other politicians running for Senate positions have faced residency concerns in the past.
The congressman’s predicament echoes similar situations involving politicians such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rick Santorum, Mehmet Oz, Herschel Walker and Pat Roberts.
Just recently, Sen. Laphonza Butler was forced to re-register to vote in California after it was revealed that she too had claimed a Maryland residency at the time of her appointment to the open Senate seat left vacant by Dianne Feinstein.