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Politicians run into tax problems

Several members of Congress -- not to mention a presidential candidate -- have had property tax issues.

By Kay Bell Mar 9, 2010 3:59PM

When it comes to property taxes, it's not just you, me and a certain Motown star that have  issues. 


Politicians do, too.


The new chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Michigan Democrat Sandy Levin, last week repaid a Maryland property tax credit that he had erroneously received from Montgomery County.

The tax break was a one-time-only benefit for owner-occupied homes and Levin, reports the the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, does not live in the house.


The Congressman's office said that the home had been inadvertently misclassified when Levin's share of the property was transferred into a trust.

Levin's chief of staff told the newspaper that the Congressman "has written a check of $690 to the County and clarified and confirmed once again to them that the correct classification of the ... property is 'Not a Principal Residence.'"


Must be something in the Committee water: Levin has the W&M gavel because Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) is taking a leave of absence from that post while ethical questions, including unpaid taxes on Caribbean rental property, are sorted out by his House colleagues.


Levin also is now the tax-writing committee's chair because Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who was acting Ways and Means chairman for a day (sounds like a Capitol Hill game show!), also had some political erception issues, as well as a Maryland property tax problem last year.

Of course, property tax problems know no political party boundaries.


Remember the housing issues the McCains faced during the 2008 presidential campaign? 


Back then, John and Cindy owned multiple properties and encountered a property tax issue with one of those pieces of real estate.


Yep, homeownership can variously be a boon or a boondoggle for all of us.


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