Rangel: Pay Taxes a “High Standard” or a Universal Law?

September 11, 2008

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) acknowledged yesterday that he had not lived up to the “higher standard” expected of members of Congress, but he maintained that he should not be punished politically for failing to disclose and pay taxes on rental income from his Caribbean resort property.

The Ways and Means Committee chairman, who is battling three ethics controversies, said he would file amended tax returns and pay federal, state and local taxes he owes — an amount that his attorney, Lanny Davis, estimated at more than $10,000 for 2004 to 2006. Rangel’s accountants are working to determine his tax liability for the rest of the 20 years that he has owned the three-bedroom villa in the Dominican Republic, Davis said.

Rangel, 78, said he regretted his failure to account for the $75,000 in income the property generated, calling the omission “irresponsible.” He said he did not know of any income because proceeds from rentals were automatically credited toward his mortgage and because he seldom received financial statements from the resort managers.

Read more: (Christopher Lee, “Rangel Says He Regrets ‘Errors,’ Rejects Calls to Cede Panel Post,” The Washington Post, 9/11/08)