- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Congressman must pay D.C. back taxes
Rahall took deduction on townhouse
The D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue is demanding $2,338 in back property taxes, interest and penalties from Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, who wrongly claimed a homestead tax deduction on his Capitol Hill townhouse reserved for D.C. homeowners who claim their property as their “principal residence.”
City tax officials, saying the West Virginia Democrat is not entitled to the annual deduction that saves D.C. homeowners $573 a year, sent him a corrected tax bill for 2010 through 2012, seeking the unpaid taxes as well as $617 in interest and penalties. The payment is due by Jan. 7.
The tax office began looking at Mr. Rahall’s deduction after The Washington Times reported in October that he was the only lawmaker among 107 in Congress who owned property in the District to claim a homestead deduction.
“Our determination was that property owner did not qualify for homeowner’s deduction and as a result the deduction was removed for the past three years,” said Natalie Wilson, spokeswoman for the tax office. She said Mr. Rahall can appeal the ruling.
A tax office memorandum says a member of Congress who owns a house in the District but maintains a residence in his home state where he votes “cannot claim the District’s homestead deduction.” The memo describes the member’s principal residence as the house in the area the lawmaker represents.
Mr. Rahall has taken a homestead deduction on his District townhouse since he bought it in 2004 even though he has owned a 10-room house in Beckley, W.Va., in his congressional district since 1995 and votes in West Virginia. He also enjoys a reduced owner-occupied tax rate on his West Virginia home, which cut his state property tax bill this year by $2,874, records show.
The Raleigh County, W.Va., assessor’s office taxes that home at the lower owner-occupied rate — half the rate for houses not occupied by the owner.
Mr. Rahall initially said during a telephone interview in October that he did not know if he had claimed the homestead deduction on the D.C. townhouse, telling a reporter to check with his accountant but hanging up before giving the accountant’s name.
His spokeswoman, Diane Luensmann, did not respond to telephone and email messages seeking comment for this story.
The lawmaker purchased the D.C. townhouse in August 2004 for $741,115, according to city tax records. The townhouse is now worth $890,320.
In the November election, Mr. Rahall, first elected to the House in 1976, beat his Republican opponent, Rick Snuffer, a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, by a margin of 54 to 46 percent.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Richard Ivory, editor-in-chief of Hip Hop Republicans and HHR at Communities Digital News, turns his interests, and pen, to the people making news today.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow