Al.com: Roy Moore should have disclosed foundation promissory note as an asset

Howard Koplowitz
Oct 20, 2017
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A nonpartisan election law watchdog group suggested on Friday that the Senate Ethics Committee investigate more allegations of impropriety against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore and a foundation connected to Moore, arguing that Moore should have listed a $540,000 promissory note from the foundation as a separate asset on his financial disclosure forms required of Senate candidates.

The amended complaint by the Campaign Legal Center was filed on the heels of a Washington Post report Friday that found the Montgomery-based Foundation for Moral Law should have reported the promissory note as taxable income, according to tax experts that spoke to the paper.

Although the foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, the experts told the Post that the note becomes taxable income because it gives Moore the option to demand payment at any time or to foreclose on the group's headquarters to recoup compensation. The promissory note is backed by the foundation's mortgage on its Dexter Avenue property.

"The note must be disclosed separately because it is a distinct asset from the mortgage that backs it," the Campaign Legal Center wrote to the Senate Ethics Committe. "For example, depending on the value of the FML building in an ever-fluctuating housing market, and depending on the outstanding amount of the building's first mortgage--which, as of 2014, was valued at $500,00012--it is possible that the second mortgage alone will fail to net Moore its full value.  However, the promissory note nonetheless guarantees that Moore is entitled to the entire $540,000 from FML, regardless of the underlying value of the mortgage."  

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