Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Tax Issue Surfaces for Rangel

From NY Times.com:

Representative Charles B. Rangel’s legal team is reviewing his tax records to determine whether the congressman received a homestead exemption on a house he owned in Washington while living in several rent-stabilized apartments in New York City.

The situation is potentially troublesome for Mr. Rangel, a Harlem Democrat who is already the subject of a wide-ranging internal House investigation stemming from an assortment of ethical concerns.

Rent laws in New York City and the state require that tenants occupying rent-stabilized apartments use those units as their primary residences. At the same time, the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue extends the homestead tax deduction only to properties that are primary residences.

The internal review by Mr. Rangel’s legal team was prompted by a report in Sunday’s edition of The New York Post quoting a District of Columbia tax official as saying that Mr. Rangel received a homestead tax exemption for a four-bedroom home he owned in Washington. The official told the newspaper that the congressman received the tax exemptions from 1995 through 2000, when he also had the use of rent-stabilized apartments in his district in Harlem.

In a statement released on Sunday night, Emile Milne, a Rangel spokesman, said: “The New York Post has raised a question about the tax treatment of a property the Rangels once owned. The property was sold more than eight years ago and we have asked Congressman Rangel’s accountant to retrieve the records about it.”

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