Saturday, July 09, 2005

drip....drip....drip....drip....Duke Watch Day 27

In a front page story by William Finn Bennett, The North County Times reports that the San Diego County assessor's office has concluded that,

When Randy "Duke" Cunningham sold his Del Mar Heights home to a defense contractor in late 2003, a subsequent county appraisal of the property to set its assessed value for property tax purposes showed the price was $300,000 higher than the home's market value...

In essence, the assessor's office found the whole transaction involving the sale of Cunningham's Del Mar home questionable,

On Friday, Chief Deputy Assessor David Butler said that an appraisal was conducted by his office on the Del Mar Heights property to determine its value at the time of the sale for tax purposes....

"Obviously our appraiser at the time thought that was just too high a sales price based on the comparables," Butler said...

Because the sale was private and because of the initial look at comparable sales, further investigation was done. The final appraisal showed that the true market value of the home was $1.375 million, Butler said.
Here it is, then. A number of professionals have reviewed this deal and all of them find it to be highly questionable. Remember, in round figures, Cunningham made at least $1.2 million on the sale of his Del Mar home, after he paid off the outstanding mortgage on the home.

The real question is how much was the sale's price inflated? One estimate is $700,000. Another is $500,000. Now, the county assessor say $300,000. A bribe is a bribe is a bribe. Pick a number, they all have the same meaning.