Yesterday Julian Robertson, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund Tiger Management, won a $27 million tax case after presenting meticulous records to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance proving he had spent just 183 days in New York City in the year 2000, and therefore was not a full-time city resident obligated to pay the city’s onerous taxes. To come to the decision, the court examined Robertson’s phone records, calendars, and bank statements and interviewed his family and staff, and the resulting 77-page document provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the extraordinarily rich. As it turns out, Julian Robertson may have multiple residences (Locust Valley, L. I., Sun Valley, Central Park South, Southampton), a personal chef, housekeeper, driver, and his own Gulfstream jet, but in some ways, he’s just like us!
He sometimes has trouble finding a car service. “There have been occasions over the years when petitioner had difficulties getting a car service to take him from the [Manhattan] Apartment to Locust Valley because, for example, a driver would refuse to take petitioners’ large dog or would go to the wrong pickup address. Petitioner recalled at least one instance where he had to call multiple car services before getting a car.”
He has time-management issues. “Mrs. Robertson testified that it was typical for petitioner, who tends to ‘cut everything to the wire,’ to be the last of the party to arrive at the airport for a flight.”
He can’t deal with voice mail. “Petitioner does not know how to retrieve voice mail messages at Tiger, and has never done so.”
He hates traveling through La Guardia. When traveling to New York, he usually chooses to land at Teterboro, “because it is much closer to New York City and is less expensive and less prone to ground traffic and air traffic delays than La Guardia.”
He annoys his assistant. “Petitioner mentioned his unexpected August 21, 2000 visit to New York City to Ms. Depperschmidt on several occasions in order to make certain that she recorded that day as a NYC day, so much that Ms. Depperschmidt got annoyed with petitioner for mentioning it so many times.”
And sometimes his wife. “Mrs. Robertson had a lot of “busy work” to accomplish in New York City, packing and getting organized for her upcoming trip to Australia to meet with a designer to discuss plans for a golf resort that the Robertsons were then building in New Zealand and getting things together to discuss with the designer. Mrs. Robertson likes to take her time getting these sorts of things done and was better able to do so without having petitioner ‘in her hair’ in New York City.”
Tax Court Decision [via WSJ]