Improper Gingrey tax break was D.C.’s fault, but they still want their money

The District of Columbia is taking the blame for a homestead exemption improperly given to U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) for a second home he and his wife purchased in Washington.

But the District intends to charge him for the four years’ worth of back taxes anyway.

On Monday, Roll Call , the Capitol Hill newspaper, cited Gingrey as one of a handful of members of Congress who had improperly received the property tax break, worth several hundred dollars a year.

Gingrey spokesman Chris Jackson passed on the letter just received by the congressman. Download a copy here.

The letter says, in part:

Although you never applied for the benefit or the tax cap, the Office of Tax and Revenue applied the deducation to the property when the deed was recorded. Occasionally, these deductions are carried forward, even with ownership changes….

As a result, the property inadvertently received tax deductions for which you neither applied nor were eligible. Consequently, the Homestead benefit has been removed and a tax bill itemizing the deduction reversals will be mailed to your mailing address….

Gingrey had said he’d pay the money back — before today’s letter. On the other hand, it’s encouraging to note that, every now and then, even a congressman is subjected to the illogic of real life.

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2 comments Add your comment

Randall

March 26th, 2009
7:06 pm

I would like to see a debamacrat do that.

SISSY SAXBY

March 27th, 2009
11:34 am

If there were still a newspaper in Georgia, it would not just accept this letter and explanation. A reporter would ask to see copies of the tax bills for the past four years, which most likely would have stated that the exemption was in effect on the property.