#SC2018: Catherine Templeton Challenges John Warren On Land Deal

GOP challenger accuses rival of participating in “tax avoidance scheme …”

As the contentious 2018 race for governor of South Carolina approaches its (first) day of decision next Tuesday, the two candidates battling for what appears to be the final spot in a “Republican” runoff election are pulling no punches.

That’s right … the GOP undercard between Lowcountry labor attorney Catherine Templeton and Upstate businessman John Warren is no longer a polite exchange of ideas, but rather a furious volley of punches.

It could soon become a cage match …

Templeton – who is locked in a furious battle with Warren for what most pollsters believe will be the second and final spot in a GOP runoff – is accusing her rival of participating in a “tax avoidance scheme.”

Specifically, Templeton wants Warren to explain how he allegedly “avoided paying more than $120,000 in taxes” over a three-year period and to “immediately disclose to voters the specifics of his tax avoidance scheme.”

“This appears to be the kind of tax dodging loophole that lets the rich get out of paying their full share of taxes,” said Templeton campaign manager R.J. May III. “John Warren claims to be an ethical businessman.  But the curious nature of these land donations leads to more questions than answers. Voters and reporters should be alarmed the Warren campaign refuses to release the details.”

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Templeton’s criticism is focused on $715,000 in non-cash charitable donations listed on Warren’s federal tax returns from 2014 to 2016.   Warren and his wife received $122,500 in tax refunds as a result of the donations, but details about the transactions have yet to be disclosed.

Is there validity to Templeton’s claims?

According to an independent analysis of Warren’s tax returns released by the S.C. Association of Certified Professional Accountants (SCACPA), Warren did list business from “undisclosed partnerships” among his income during those tax years.  The SCACPA also determined Warren’s submission had “key forms” missing and “some data blacked out.”

Upping the ante, Templeton’s campaign is attempting to link Warren’s alleged tax avoidance to a liberal donor – Frank Schuler.

He’s the “liberal super PAC boss” referenced in Templeton’s latest attack ad – and according to records from the S.C. State Election Commission (SCSEC), he donated the maximum $3,500 to Warren’s campaign on March 29 of this year.

Warren’s reponse?

“Unlike Catherine Templeton, John Warren has turned over three years of tax returns – including charitable contributions and sources of income,” said Warren spokeswoman Laura Beth Kirsop.  “Catherine Templeton is not one to talk about transparency – she has refused to release her tax returns or charitable contributions. This is nothing more than a sad, desperate attempt by Catherine Templeton to get attention in the waning hours of her campaign.”



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