Biden and Harris’ income tax filings shine light on their real estate holdings

New disclosures show Biden and wife paid $17K in state and local real estate taxes; Harris and husband paid $58K

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden with Donald Trump (Getty; iStock)
Kamala Harris and Joe Biden with Donald Trump (Getty; iStock)

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris lost the ability to deduct tens of thousands of dollars in real estate taxes from their federal income taxes last year as a result of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax code overhaul.

The Democratic presidential nominee and his running mate released their personal income taxes Tuesday evening, just ahead of the first debate between Biden and Trump, who has refused to release his taxes. On Sunday, the New York Times published its investigation into 20 years of Trump’s personal tax returns.

Biden and Harris’ filings give a window into the candidates’ personal finances, real estate holdings and how they have been affected by Trump’s policies.

The former vice president paid more than $17,300 in state and local real estate taxes last year, according to forms he co-filed for 2019 with his wife, Jill Biden. The couple has owned a 7,000-square-foot lakeside home in Wilmington, Delaware, for more than 20 years. They also paid $2.7 million for a 4,800-square-foot vacation home in Rehoboth Beach in 2017.

Sen. Harris paid more than $58,000 in state and local real estate taxes on about $8 million worth of homes she and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, own in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., according to the couple’s filings.

Along with their local income taxes, the Bidens and Harris/Emhoff itemized $111,717 and $316,423, respectively, in state and local taxes in 2019. But those deductions were capped at $10,000 each as a result of the Trump administration’s limit on state and local tax deductions from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017.

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The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Both he and Harris have expressed support for Democratic lawmakers’ attempts to repeal the limits.

Industry experts say the cap on SALT deductions has led buyers in high-tax states such as New York and New Jersey to flee for states with lower costs.

Delaware and California, meanwhile, have some of the lowest property tax rates in the nation, although Californians were still hurt by the cap because they pay high state and local income taxes.

Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes each year in 2016 and 2017, the Times’ investigation revealed. He paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the 15 previous years, the Times reported.

In contrast, the Bidens paid a total of nearly $283,600 in federal income tax for 2016 and 2017.