Charly Rangel please go home
PANAMA. New York Congressional Representative Charles Rangel, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (they write the US fede...
PANAMA. New York Congressional Representative Charles Rangel, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee (they write the US federal tax laws) has always been one of my favorite Congressmen.
No more. Rangel was found a month ago to have “forgotten” to declare the rental income of his Dominican Republic home he has owned for the past twenty years.
He has offered several excuses for the omission: his wife took the money; the payment reports were in Spanish; he was simply too busy and forgot to include the twice-yearly payments in his tax filings.
And the biggest rationalization of all: he did not know that he had to report the rent he received on the villa as income.
Rangel has earned more than $75,000 in rental income from his beachfront villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic which he has owned since 1988. He rents out the property for $500 or more per night.
The most ironic thing about this tax mess is that Rangel’s tax liability may be very little. But the failure to declare can get him jail time and stiff fines.
Charly’s accountant believes he probably owes back taxes to the state and New York City. He may have no federal tax liability however if he considered the villa an investment rather than a vacation home. This way he could deduct depreciation on the property and the taxes the resort paid to the Dominican Republic.
But this lifeline may fall short, if Rangel spent more than 14 days per year at his property.
Then all of the other deductions fly out the window.
Now, if this were just a dispute about one property, it might have gone unreported. However, we also discover that Rangel received an interest-free mortgage from the lender.
And, to make things even worse, we now learn that Charly has used his New York City rent-controlled properties for business, rather than as low-income housing for his family (low-income? A Congressman?)
Anyhow, Charles Rangel has refused all entreaties that he resign from his powerful chairmanship until the three House ethic violation probes find him at fault.
House Leader, Nancy Pelosi, rather than showing true leadership, sides with Rangel.
Too bad. This was an ideal moment for Congressional Democrats to not only ‘talk the talk’, but also ‘walk the walk’.
Charly, go home.