Capitol Alert

Rob Lowe, state wrangle over taxes on home sale

Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger, greets actor Rob Lowe onstage at his election night victory party at the Beverly Hills Hilton, Tuesday Nov. 7, 2006.
Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzengger, greets actor Rob Lowe onstage at his election night victory party at the Beverly Hills Hilton, Tuesday Nov. 7, 2006. The Sacramento Bee

Actor Rob Lowe personally appealed to the state Board of Equalization Tuesday to settle a long-standing dispute over taxes on his 2005 sale of a Montecito home for $25 million.

However, he will have to wait at least three more months because the board, meeting in Culver City, postponed the case to digest additional data from Lowe and his wife, Sheryl Berkoff, on how much they gained from the sale.

“I take this very seriously,” Lowe told the board. “I’ve been paying my taxes in this state since I was 15 years old … and it’s a privilege.”

Lowe told board chairman Jerome Horton that he’s seeking “common sense and fairness and expediting.”

The Board of Equalization is hearing Lowe’s appeal from a finding by the Franchise Tax Board that he failed to report a multimillion-dollar gain on the house on his 2005 state tax return.

The FTB initially tabbed the gain at $9.3 million, said it increased the couple’s taxable income by $8.8 million and sought $909,938 in additional income taxes, plus a $227,484 penalty.

Since then, through negotiations and receipt of more data, the FTB has reduced the taxable gain to $6.9 million and the extra tax to $714,686, plus a $178,671.50 penalty.

Those numbers were at issue during a scheduled appellate hearing before the Board of Equalization Tuesday, but the Franchise Tax Board’s representative sought a postponement, saying that Lowe had just delivered a large amount of new information.

“We want to resolve this matter,” Horton said, but spurned pleas from Lowe and his attorney to hear the case sooner.

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