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Tax Man Is After Bush but He Just Wants to Get Foot in Door

June 10, 1989|From United Press International

KENNEBUNKPORT, Me. — President George Bush doesn't know it yet, but the town's tax assessor wants to pay him a visit.

Donald H. Hemphill, Kennebunkport's municipal assessor, said Friday he wants to get inside Bush's seaside home for a tour. The result will undoubtedly be a higher tax bill for the President.

Hemphill said he is in the middle of revaluing all of the property in Kennebunkport, and the Bush estate is high on his list.

"We're doing all the houses townwide," Hemphill said. "We just haven't gotten to his as yet."

Hemphill said he plans to mail a notice to Bush, asking for permission to go through the 26-room house on Walkers Point. He said he did not know whether that would be enough to get him into the house.

"That is all I can do, really," he said. "If I can't get in, I will have to do an estimate, I guess."

Hemphill said the house was last valued in 1982, when the value was set at $891,000. Bush bought the house from his aunt two years earlier for $800,000, although the house has been in his family since it was built by his grandfather, George Herbert Walker.

In 1988, Bush paid $17,600 in property taxes on the house, which occupies 6.4 acres of prime oceanfront property. Real estate officials in the area have estimated that the market value of the house is around $3 million.

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