As Colorado Slashes Funds For Education, Tom Cruise Pays $400 In Property Taxes

In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) is proposing a massive $375 million cut to education funding and proposing to close four state parks. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise, whose net worth exceeds $250 million, pays Colorado just $400 a year in property taxes for a 248-acre property outside of Telluride that he purchased for $18 million.

How does he do it? By manipulating a tax break designed to help struggling farmers. The Denver Post reports:

Actors, captains of industry, an Ivy League astrologer, sports figures, politicians… All these are also considered farmers or ranchers for tax purposes in Colorado. They have secured low property taxes through agricultural designations on land they own even though they personally have little or nothing to do with producing food — the reason state legislators originally created a low property-tax rate for the agriculture sector.

Actor Tom Cruise owns five parcels of land on a scenic mesa northwest of Telluride that has become an enclave of high-end vacation homes. Sheep graze around the mansions for brief periods each year, according to the assessor’s office.

Cruise has some company. The tax break is also abused by developers who “put an electrical fence up and put a couple of animals on there just to get the classification.”

The result is a redistribution of wealth from students and teachers of Colorado to Tom Cruise’s lavish lifestyle. The Today show, quoting a source, reports “Tom is really into money… He has no problem spending it. It makes him feel powerful. He loves to brag about his Porsches, his homes, his planes and his motorcycles.”

A recent exposé in the New Yorker also revealed that members of the Church of Scientology were paid $50 a week to do chores for Cruise, including customizing “a Ford Excursion S.U.V. that Cruise owned, installing features such as handmade eucalyptus panelling.”

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


Related Stories:

Teachers Protest To Defend The Arts From Budget Cuts

Education Headed For the Funding Cliff

Tax Cuts for the Rich Extended


Photo courtesy of BEAT NIK via flickr
written by Judd Legum, a ThinkProgress blogger


Demian v.
Wendy V6 years ago

... a nicer way of saying things.

We certainly are given wonderful PR on all the wars that are going on, without ever a true reason, obviously; even people who are not up on what’s really happening in the world know there’s something wrong.

The fact is, we’re living through a script. That’s the most horrible thing if you happen to belong to those countries, who are on the script, on the list, because, can you imagine living for years knowing the biggest militaries on the planet, that have signed together to work through treaties, are all on board to come and bomb you one day? It’s not a very nice thing to live through, never mind your mental health or anything else, knowing what’s happened to all the other countries, simply because this big gang wants to take you out and grab your wealth and minerals and your oil and everything else they can grab. And then dominate you, destroy the culture and then rebuild it under this farce of a democracy, this pie-in-the-sky thing that no one’s ever really had. So that’s the real world that we’re living in and most folk never, ever get it at all. They just don’t get it.

That’s basically what they did with most of the countries, as they went into this prosperity partnership called the EU; now they’re all broke as can be with bailing out bank after bank. But you understand, these things don’t happen by themselves. They don’t happen because downturns just

Demian v.
Wendy V6 years ago

As I've stated in a previous comment, Tom Cruise is a puppet... He's part of the NWO and their agenda to shape the future according to their agenda. Again we see the few affecting the future of the many. Voting folks in out is just another example of the 'Big Con'. Unfortunataley Democracy is a joke, why it that there's only 2 parties? Sort of 2 wings on the same bird... Of course not to mention how the media and Hollwodd (Holy Wood - Magicians Wand) craft the world as we see it...

It’s by the omission of lots of detail that brings you to the conclusion that those that own the world want you to have, and they use the mainstream media to do that. That’s their job in fact. Unfortunately people now are TV orientated and so they think that seeing is believing. They have no idea how many cons are pulled off every day in front of their own eyes, but they do believe it’s all very true.

They do tell you a lot of propaganda spin, of course, but they never go into any investigative journalism. Primarily today there are very few real investigative journalists in fact; it’s mainly handouts from corporations and governments that go straight into the newspaper. But as I say, public relations is the modern term for propaganda. The man who came up with public relations and the whole lot was Bernays. Bernays himself preferred the term propaganda, and so do I; you know where you stand with it. But public relations sounds much better, a nicer way of saying thin

G Bud Budlong
G.BUD Budlong6 years ago

this is a issue best addressed in the state congress and with adjustments to existing laws...why does everyone nit pick at individuals and ignore their own blame...if you live in CO you elected these crooks and allowed them to be influenced by lobbyists from all the right thing and vote them out and force them to fix your job ..theirs is to avoid you at every turn once elected

Roger Nobles
Roger Nobles6 years ago

Tom Cruise and other wealthy folks are not the problem here, it's the system. This is just one small example of why regulations are necessary, of the waste, and ill conceived legislation. The incentive for Farmers was presented with good cause and good intent, but like many other fast track programs, loopholes remain either than neglect or willful intent to allow abuse. Tax increases nor massive cuts are needed to balance a progressive budget. Teamwork is though, we all need to work together, doing our fair share, not shifting the responsibility to those with more integrity and often fewer resources. We need to start with the politicians, regardless of party, and fire everyone who has or is taking bribes, allowing earmarks, special favors; they are criminals and should be prosecuted as such. Of course there will always be mistakes that allow for abuse, but review boards, most are already assimilated into the programs, can close those as soon as they are found. I will have to agree that any public official, again regardless of political party, should take immediate action to rectify abuses like this property tax loophole.

Charlene Rush
Charlene Rush6 years ago

There will be no change, until the citizenry sticks together, 'gets up in arms', and complains, loudly.

The question is, WHY, why do we tolerate such loopholes and allow the tax system to make fools of the average citizen?

Blacktiger P.
Blacktiger P6 years ago

How many actors have bought land and have manipulated the tax bill to leave their neighbours to pay the load. Does somebody know where to look fot those facts? Time to start boycotting those big-wig actors and their investors.

Ray M.
Ray M6 years ago

This is absurd. Goes to show how gov't. continually gives to the rich and takes from the poor. Something drastic needs to be done about this inequity. No wonder this country is in debt.

Rita Walpole A.
Rita Walpole A6 years ago

Sure, don't tax 'em. Let 'em duck under shelters and scrabmle through loopholes.

Come on, folks, let's put all party politics aside, take off the blinders and recognize what's happened to us here in the U.S. of (greed and power) A.(ddiction):



Peg R.
Randolph M6 years ago

The Government simultaneously give out farm subsidies, which ... colleague Sam Donaldson, who got thousands of dollars in wool and mohair payments because he and his wife raised sheep and goats on their New. Mexico ranch. Sam Donaldson certainly doesn't need the money with all the money this lefty has from being a news reporter.

Mary B.
Mary B6 years ago

Articles like this send up some red flags because it sounds like there is not enough information, and any deliberate attempt to further demonize the wealthy is pointless. We already have enough strong opinions about them and this is just throwing fuel on the fire to create 'class warfare'. And make our government regulations sound more lacking than they probably really are.Which invites tighter regulations that hamper the regular small farmers first.Those who want control exist on both sides of the spectrum and at many levels of consciousness. Beware of what you buy into and start spreading around.