Billionaire Tom Steyer reportedly under investigation for alleged unpermitted rental of Lake Tahoe property to Biden family

August 23, 2023

President Joe Biden and his family are currently enjoying a week-long vacation in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where they are staying at a luxurious waterfront property owned by billionaire investor and climate change activist Tom Steyer.

Per the White House, the Biden family is paying rent to stay at the $18 million property, but that has prompted an investigation amid complaints that Steyer is not properly permitted to operate the property as a rental, the Daily Caller reported.

Biden's week-long vacation at Steyer's Lake Tahoe property follows close on the heels of a week-long vacation at the president's beachfront property in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with those two vacations separated only be a several-day stay at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland last week, ostensibly for a summit with the leaders of Japan and South Korea.

Complaint alleged Steyer is not permitted to operate property as rental

The Nevada Globe reported that it was recently tipped off about a formal complaint that had been filed against Steyer by a Douglas County resident with the county's Vacation Home Rental (VHR) Advisory Board.

That complaint alleges that Steyer lacks a rental property permit required by the county since a 2005 county ordinance was enacted to better regulate and limit the number of rental properties in the area of Lake Tahoe.

According to the county's VHR certification program manual, under the section labeled "violations and penalties," it is illegal for a property owner to operate that property as a rental without a permit, and violations of that ordinance could result in a fine of up to $20,000 as well as a potential court-ordered injunction, tax assessments, and even criminal penalties.

The Globe further reported that Ernie Strehlow, the VHR board's Program Manager/Head of Code Enforcement, confirmed in a statement that the matter was under investigation.

"Several inquires have been received on this address," he said. "We cannot comment further as we are actively investigating any Douglas County Nevada code violations on this rental."

White House says Biden paying unspecified "fair market value" rent on Steyer's property

The New York Post reported last week on the arrival on Friday of President and first lady Joe and Jill Biden, plus several other family members, at the Lake Tahoe property, where they met up with Hunter Biden and his wife and young son who had already arrived earlier.

Steyer reportedly purchased the lakeside six-bedroom home that sits on three acres for around $15 million in 2007, and it is now reportedly worth approximately $18.1 million.

In response to media queries, the White House said in a statement, "The First Family is renting a private home for their stay in Lake Tahoe. The home belongs to Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor. The First Family is renting the home for fair market value."

The White House declined to specify what the "fair market value" of the property was, however, and the Post lamented that the exact amount of the alleged rental price may never be revealed since the agreement was likely a private transaction that could only be disclosed voluntarily the parties to the agreement.

Rental price could be revealed by investigation

That said, The Globe noted that the unanswered question of how much the Bidens paid to rent Steyer's property could be publicly revealed following the conclusion of the now-confirmed active investigation into alleged violations of the county's VHR ordinance.

As for Steyer, the Post noted that he is perhaps best known for his laughable and short-lived attempt at running a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign, in which he essentially spent $341 million of his own fortune for nothing, not to mention the $10 million years-long ad campaign he waged beginning in 2017 to convince Democrats to impeach then-President Donald Trump.

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