The next legislative session in 2005, a bill passed with a backdated provision allowing him to defer about $100,000 in capital gains taxes on the sale of that land.
Perdue said throughout the fall 2006 campaign that he didn’t know he would benefit from the tax break before he signed the measure into law.
But a memo obtained by the AJC in December 2006 showed that before he signed the bill, the governor was supplied with an analysis from his deputy executive counsel that outlined the change, which was contained in a lengthy, typically routine revision of state tax laws.
At the time, most states already allowed Georgians who sold land in the state and buy similar property in another state to defer capital gains taxes. And all the state officials involved said the tax break wasn’t aimed at helping Perdue.
Under the change, a Georgia taxpayer can defer such capital gains taxes until he or she sells the land without buying another piece of property.
The most recent tax records say the property Perdue bought for $2 million is now valued at $396,000.
He wound up easily winning re-election in 2006.