Patterico's Pontifications

9/20/2008

A Little Known Perk of Office in the US Congress — Unlimited Free Parking. Just Ask Charlie Rangel How.

Filed under: Government — WLS @ 11:28 am



[Posted by WLS]

Rules of the House of Representatives forbid long-term storage of vehicles in the House garage. The limit is 90 days.

According to the New York Post, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel has stored a silver 1972 Mercedes Benz in the House parking garage since at least sometime in 2004 when he surrendered the special Congressional license plates issued for it. According to unnamed House aides, it has sat under a car cover in a coveted parking spot close to the elevators “for years.”

IRS regs advise that anyone with such a spot is deemed to have “imputed income” equal to the value of that spot. The spaces are valued by the House at $290 a month. That’s roughly $3500 per year, and if it’s been there 4 years, Rangel has realized an imputed income of $14,000 in free parking.

I have a suspicion that income was not reported on his tax returns either.

— WLS

12 Responses to “A Little Known Perk of Office in the US Congress — Unlimited Free Parking. Just Ask Charlie Rangel How.”

  1. This has to be racist post. I denounce you and I denounce myself for believing it.

    Mike K (b74f82)

  2. I have a suspicion that income was not reported on his tax returns either.

    Christ, how would he know?

    Again, I can think of NO situation where a “simple preson” with “simple finances” would need a fecking forensic accountant to figure out what his ACTUAL income is.

    Forensic Accountants usually do stuff like decifer cooked corperate books, or to find laundered money… Income taxes? Not so much…

    This man is so dirty he makes Pig Pen look like someone with hand-washing OCD…

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  3. I believe the imputed income is to the Congress, or the parking lot people if it’s a different entity, WLS. Rangel just has a debt. If the debt is forgiven, it may become income (actual income, not term of art “imputed” income) to Rangel.

    There might be gift tax considerations but, again, the liability is to the giver not the giftee.

    nk (189a81)

  4. Somehow Sarah Palin is to blame. But she is “disabled” so she needs to be by the elevators. Even if it is Charlie Rangel’s car.

    I feel racist even thinking that Charlie Rangel did anything wrong. I denounce you call.

    Joe (8102a5)

  5. I have a suspicion that income was not reported on his tax returns either.

    Standard practice in these situations is for the employer to calculate imputed income for fringe benefits and then include it in the W-2. So he’s almost certainly fine on the income tax side of it; he’s still breaking the House rule, though (assuming the Post correctly summarized the rule. They blew the tax part, so I’m not inclined to take their word on it)

    jpe (bd88bc)

  6. What Charlie, along with many others in D.C., really need is a forensic proctologist.

    huey (3990bf)

  7. NK,

    If Rangels uncle was Congress and gave him the parking spot as a gift, it’d be an untaxed gift because of the low amount.

    However, Congress is Rangels employer, so the parking spot becomes a form of payment to the employee. Employee has to pay his own income taxes (and payroll taxes are split) so this is purely Rangels problem, not Congress’

    At my last internship there were a couple of parking options and everyone wanted the place owned by the company that officially valued the spaces at $40 a month, because the other lot was $95/month. Both were fully paid by the company, only difference is the taxable amount.

    Allen (defdde)

  8. Employee has to pay his own income taxes (and payroll taxes are split) so this is purely Rangels problem

    It’s probably not a problem at all. I’m sure the income was added to his W2.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  9. And the Easter Bunny brings brightly colored eggs,
    and the Tooth Fairy leaves money under your pillow.

    Putz!

    Another Drew (0d32b9)

  10. It’s probably not a problem at all. I’m sure the income was added to his W2.

    Nope. It’s a problem.

    Congress would not have figured it into his taxes because he hasn’t PAID for the space. He’s supposed to, but he has not. For him to have it figured into his taxes is to claim what has not occured. It’s like my telling the mortgage company I paid my mortgage, when I never sent the check. You get in trouble for that.

    If his W-2’s (And I don’t believe it’s a W-2 for such purely federal paychecks, but that’s six of one, half a dozen of another) reflect the cost, he’s got a buddy on the inside cooking his W-2’s each year.

    And besides, there is NO way you could claim “he’s just fine” tax-wise. Like I said, he’s had to hire forensic accountants to figure out his total tax liability over the last MANY years. His ACCOUNTANTS probably aren’t sure he’s ok on this issue.

    He certainly would have no idea if he was ok or not. Much like the rest of his taxes, I would suggest he ignored it all, assuming he didn’t really have to do anything since he’s RANGLE. That’s about the only way you get into the hole he’s in right now.

    Scott Jacobs (d3a6ec)

  11. If his W-2’s…reflect the cost, he’s got a buddy on the inside cooking his W-2’s each year.

    Actually, standard practice in the corporate world is for the payroll dpt. to add items of imputed income to the W2.

    jpe (bd88bc)

  12. “…standard practice in the corporate world …”

    Since when did the gov’t ever do anything as to the above?

    There’s the right way;
    There’s the wrong way; and,
    There’s the Government way!

    Another Drew (4692ec)


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