Current Middle Berkshire County Register of Deeds, and Congressional hopeful, Andrea Nuciforo, calls on the Bay State's top attorney to investigate two mortgage lenders for failing to pay state excise taxes. He sat down with our Brandon Walker to explain why.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- "This is millions of dollars."
That's how much Middle Berkshire Register of Deeds Andrea Nuciforo says mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie owe the State of Massachusetts in back taxes.
“They have been improperly and, in my judgment, illegally asserting that exception from the excise tax," Nuciforo said.
That exception amounts to $155,000 since 1991in taxes from Berkshire County alone and $4.2 million from Essex County, Massachusetts.
The backlash, stemming from this lawsuit filed by Oakland County, Michigan in U.S. District Court against Fannie and Freddie. Last month, a judge ruled the mortgage lenders are corporations, and as such, should be required to pay the same excise tax as other lenders in Michigan.
Nuciforo is calling on Attorney General Martha Coakley to do the same here in the Bay State.
Here's how it works. For every deed recorded, you're required to pay an excise tax.
Fannie and Freddie, long arguing they're exempted because they're an arm of the federal government.
“Pursue those two companies and make sure that the tax payers of the commonwealth get what they're due," Nuciforo said.
Nuciforo's letter to the attorney general comes as he campaigns to represent the first district in Congress. Despite that, he says, by no means are his political ambitions the impetus behind his letter to the state's top prosecutor.
"Does it send, at all, any message to voters who might vote for or against you?” our reporter asked.
“No,” Nuciforo said. “I think this is really about me performing the functions of the registry."
We contacted Martha Coakley's office to see if they had received Nuciforo's letter.
All they would say is that they have and wouldn't comment on the potential for an investigation.