WASHINGTON — Sen. Joni Ernst has paid back Washington, D.C., for improperly claiming a tax benefit reserved for people who make their primary residence in the District.
The Iowa Republican had claimed the D.C. homestead exemption, which reduces the value of primary residences for tax purposes. The Des Moines Register was first to report the senator’s repayment, which totaled almost $1,900 for taxes going back to 2016.
Ernst cut the check to the city only after the Iowa newspaper reached out to her office. It received the information about Ernst’s taxes from the liberal outside political group American Bridge.
Ernst had claimed her Iowa home under a similar exemption.
American Bridge also provided documentation to Roll Call showing that Ernst (and her now former husband, Gail) were receiving the homestead exemption on a condominium unit north of Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill, which was purchased in 2016.
The senator announced last year that she was getting a divorce, which was finalized in January.
Ernst is up for re-election in 2020.
Her office did not immediately respond to a request for additional details on why she had claimed the D.C. deduction.