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N.Y. Tax Ruling Could Cost Second-Home Owners

A New Canaan man who works in New York and owns a second home there is considering whether to appeal a tax ruling that could cost him more than $1.06 million.

John Barker, a New Canaan resident who works as an investments manager for Neuberger Berman in New York, said the ruling could have “chilling effects” on the market for second homes in the Empire State.

The decision by a tax appeals tribunal upheld a 2009 administrative law judge’s ruling that Barker and his wife Laura should be taxed as permanent New York State residents, a report in the Wall Street Journal said. The ruling was based in part on Barker’s being in New York more than 183 days a year as a commuter. However, it was the first time a court considered a vacation home to be a permanent residence if it could be lived in year-round. The ruling meant the Barkers would be taxed on all of their income, including capital gains, dividends, interest and Laura Barker's income, and not just John Barker’s New York State income.

“We are disappointed and wish the court had not ruled this way,” Barker said. “We are assessing what our ongoing rights are, including continued appeals.”

Barker said he and his family used the home, which they purchased in 1997, only for vacations.

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