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THE NATION

Romney Responds to Mass. Residency Issue

June 07, 2002|From Associated Press

BOSTON — Responding to questions about whether he meets requirements to run for governor, Mitt Romney said Thursday that he filed state tax returns as a part-time resident in 1999 and 2000.

The state Constitution requires a candidate to live in Massachusetts for seven consecutive years before running for governor.

Romney said Thursday he amended those tax filings from "part-time resident" to "resident" in April, after he declared his candidacy and opponents questioned whether he was qualified to run.

The former Salt Lake City Olympics chief came under criticism Wednesday after a report that he paid property taxes on a Utah home as his "primary residence" from 1999 to 2001 and received a $54,600 tax discount as a result. Romney and the county assessor in Summit County, Utah, blamed it on a clerical mistake.

Romney said Thursday that where he filed his taxes should have no bearing on his qualification to run because he and his family have had a home in the Boston suburb of Belmont for nearly 30 years.

"The key is this: Did you ever decide not to come back to Massachusetts?" he said. "I never, ever decided not to come back to Massachusetts."

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