Thursday, July 30, 2009

Charlie Rangel has no right to use the term: Moral

And why not? Let's start at the beginning. Congressman Rangel, Chmn. of the House Ways and Means Committee, is leading the fight for a 5.4% income tax surcharge and calls it "the moral thing to do."

Most of us have heard the stories about his resort property in the Dominican Republic's luxury Punta Cana Yacht Club which he purchased in 1987. He has failed to report the income from the property for a number of years with a number of excuses. Now that he has been caught, he has said he would amend his tax returns and pay the arrearage by May 15. That date has come and gone and as of a few days ago he had not filed nor had he paid. The amount in dispute was suspiciously low at $75,000 over the years, but apparently the IRS accepted it.

Note: It is reported that this desirable property rents for $500 off season and $1100 at peak times and last year it was fully booked from December 15 to April 15. Now, remember these numbers. At the high end that would be $132,000 and the lower figures would work out at $66,000. So take your pick.

Here's where it gets interesting. Old Charlie undoubtedly wants to keep his income low since he is the tenant of four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem and needs to keep his income below $175,000 to remain eligible for hardship rent control. (He uses one of the apartments for an office which is against the rules, but let's just shrug our shoulders at that one.)

And like Chris Dodd, he "didn't know that the developer had changed his $52,000 mortgage to an interest free loan" in 1990. Doesn't that violate the House rules on gifts (loans) which are not available to the general public?

There's one more piece to this puzzle. The National Legal and Policy Center says that Mr. Rangel owned or owns a home in D.C. on which he claimed a homestead exemption so he could save money on his property taxes. Guess what? The New York rent-stabilized apartments in New York have the same requirement for his "homestead" apartment.

Remember the numbers on renting the Yacht Club property? The New York apartments require that tenants NOT earn more than $175,000 to qualify. How much does he earn as a Congressman? Base pay for all Congressmen is $174,000 with additional remuneration for those who are committee chairs, etc. Even if he refused extra pay for the chairmanship, which he is free to do, he could only rent the villa for one night without going over the limits in New York.

Oh, what a tangled web----
God bless...........

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