Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rangel Taxing Credibility

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) continues taxing credibility with each and every new revelation about how he evaded paying taxes and failed to report income over a span of years. Trying to unwind his real estate dealings is showing the lengths to which he tried to shield income from the IRS.
While Rangel claims to have taken in not a dime in eight years, at least four tenants lived in the building during that time, The Post found.

His nephew, Christopher Rangel, still lives there.

The Democratic lawmaker, who is being probed by the House Ethics Committee for a laundry list of alleged financial misdeeds, has had a hard time keeping his story straight on the apartment building.

Rangel's grandfather bought the red-brick house in 1923. Rangel's sister transferred the property to the congressman's wife, Alma, in 1973 for $10,000, city records show. Rangel sold it in 2004 for $410,000 -- a hefty profit -- to the First AME Church Bethel.

He filed amended disclosure forms last month showing that in 2004 he failed to reveal between $500,001 and $1 million in capital gains and rent from the building.

Rangel's reporting of his yearly rental income for the building has swung widely -- from nothing to up to $50,000, the federal disclosure forms show.

* In 1987, he claimed the building brought in between $5,001 and $15,000.

* In 1991, he amended his 1990 form to say the property produced a loss.

* Less than a month later, he said the gross rent was between $15,000 and $50,000, the same amount he reported in 2002.

* In 1993 and 1994, he failed to enter anything about the property's income.

* From 1995 to 2000, he checked a box to show he earned no income.

* In 2001, Rangel claimed income for the building, reporting between $2,501 and $5,000 a year. He did the same in 2002 and 2003, then amended the reports to show income between $15,000 and $50,000.

Even if expenses on the building brought his take to nothing in certain years, he was required to report the gross rent.
Democrats continue shielding Rangel from the consequences of his actions. They refuse to take action to force him to step down from the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax policy. They refuse to speak out against his malfeasance.

None of this is shocking, but taxpayers should be outraged at the way that Rangel has played the taxpayers for fools. Yet, I doubt his constituents will lift a finger to send Rangel packing. They'll likely reelect him handily regardless of the criminality and scandal involved.

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