Chief Dem taxman doesn't understand own taxes!

Rangel Failed to Report $75,000 in Income


Mr. Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the federal tax code, bought the beachfront villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club and has received twice-yearly payments from the resort, which rents the property for $500 or more per night.


the congressman did not realize he had to declare the money as income, and was unaware of the semiannual payments from the resort because his wife, Alma, handled the family finances and conferred with their accountant, John Viardi, on tax matters.

The money was never sent to the Rangels directly, according to Mr. Davis and resort records, but was used to defray the mortgage the company gave them when they bought the villa and $23,000 in subsequent construction costs in 2003.

The confusion was magnified, Mr. Davis said, by the fact that the statements from the resort were sent only intermittently. The congressman declined to be interviewed, but issued a brief written statement.

“I have asked my accountant to review all the data recently made available to me by the Punta Cana Hotel in the Dominican Republic concerning my investment 20 or so years ago in purchasing a unit in that hotel for occasional use over the years,” the statement said. “Once my accountant obtains and verifies the facts, I will follow his recommendations.”

Mr. Davis said that Mr. Rangel had paid scant attention to the villa’s finances until Sunday, when The New York Post reported that the congressman had failed to declare the rental income for 2006 and 2007 on his Congressional financial disclosure forms. “This is all news to him,” Mr. Davis said. A review by The New York Times of the records dating back to 1996 showed that the congressman also did not report the income in 1996 through 2000. Mr. Davis said on Thursday that Mr. Rangel would most likely file amendments to the disclosure forms as well.

The disclosure is a sworn statement, and intentionally filing a false report is a felony that carries a possible five-year prison sentence, but in most cases the House ethics committee does not punish members for errors or omissions.

Comment: Here's the operative phrase - "the congressman did not realize he had to declare the money as income" Maybe if we had a flat tax or at least a simplified tax code, the Dem's chief tax bean-counter could figure it out. The average tax-paying American schmoe doesn't have the luxury of tax accountants and attorneys, but we have to figure it out!


  1. Isn't this the same guy who "failed to realize" that he didn't have the right to rent/own more than a certain number of NYC rent controlled apartments or something like that?

    Call me skeptical that he really "failed to realize" this as well. While tax simplification is a good goal, I don't know that Mr. Rangel's case illustrates it well.

  2. Hey Bike Bubba .. good comment.

    Forgot about that!


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