The jokes just write themselves with this one as Congressional candidate to be Jon Runyan is also a farmer apparently:
Former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan is getting a break on his property taxes for his lavish Mount Laurel homestead – thanks in part to his four donkeys.
Runyan, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House, paid $57,000 in taxes last year on five of his acres, which contain his home.
But on most of his property – 20 acres – he paid $468 in taxes, according to township records.
On his application for a farmland assessment in July, Runyan said he uses five acres as grazing land for his donkeys and 15 for timber, harvesting seven cords of firewood that he sold for $810.
You may remember the farmland assessment issue rearing its head in such races as Ellen Karcher v. Jen Beck and most recently Scott Garrett v. Dennis Shulman. As Babs pointed out in this Ken Bank diary, the GOP was relentless against Karcher on the issue. Up until recently Runyan wasn’t fulfilling his dream of raising donkeys, but was motivated by the potential of losing that tax break:
Runyan didn’t always have the four donkeys. Last January, the township assessor wrote to Runyan that one donkey wasn’t enough to justify the tax break.
“Although your application was approved for 2009, this acreage will not qualify in the future if you do not have enough animals to justify the five acres,” the letter said.
A year later, Runyan reported having four donkeys grazing on five acres, and kept his tax break.
Russell said Runyan had long planned to breed the donkeys but wasn’t ready to do that just yet.
I guess the potential increase in taxes provided the motivation to finally fulfill those plans. At 1.25 acres per donkey, they have more land than most NJ residents. I wonder what the big elephant in Ocean County George Gilmore thought over his morning coffee learning about Runyan and his affinity for donkeys.