Rosendale didn’t benefit from error in property sale, spokesman says

June 1, 2018 GMT

Montana State Auditor Matt Rosendale did not receive any financial or tax benefit from the 2015 sale of a Maryland property that was questioned because a title company erred in stating Rosendale was a Maryland resident, a spokesman for Rosendale’s U.S. Senate campaign said Wednesday.

Rosendale, a former Maryland real estate developer, is one of four Republican challengers for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Jon Tester, D-Mont. Rosendale moved to Montana in 2002.

Questions related to a 25-acre property in Maryland that Rosendale and his wife, Jean, sold three years ago for $750,000 prompted the Helena Independent Record to report about the matter in an April 25 newspaper article. In that press report Rosendale’s accountant explained how it came to be that the real-estate documents stated Rosendale was a Maryland resident when he was, in fact, a Montana resident.

There was also a lingering question about whether Rosendale had benefited financially from the property transaction because he was erroneously listed as a Maryland resident. The Daily Inter Lake reached out to Rosendale on Tuesday and was emailed a statement from his campaign.

“The title company sent a letter admitting they sent the wrong form and that they altered the document by checking the residence box without Matt and Jean’s knowledge,” campaign spokesman Shane Scanlon told the Daily Inter Lake in the email statement.

The Atlantic Title Group in Severna Park, Maryland, wrote a letter to the Rosendales on April 23, noting that per the Rosendales’ request they had received the closing and recording documents related to the real-estate sale of their property in Centreville, Maryland.

“It appears that you were mistakenly sent the incorrect Certificate of Exemption from Withholding and during our processing, the Maryland resident exemption was incorrectly attributed to your certificate without your knowledge,” Atlantic Title Group stated. “Said document was subsequently recorded with the deed. This document is used when a seller is a resident of Maryland or fulfills other statutory requirements. Unfortunately this was not the case under your closing since you both were in fact residents of the state of Montana.”

Rosendale signed his name on the real estate transaction forms and otherwise didn’t make any marks on the form, Rosendale’s accountant Thomas McCarthy told the Helena newspaper.

“The title company later wrongly checked the wrong residency box saying Rosendale was entitled to an exemption to the withholding of Maryland income taxes on sales or transfers of property by nonresidents because he was a Maryland resident,” the Helena Independent Review wrote, attributing the information to McCarthy.

In previous reporting it was never made clear whether the mistake had led to Rosendale getting a benefit intended only for Maryland residents, but Scanlon told the Inter Lake there had never been any financial benefit to the Rosendales as a result of the error.

Features Editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.