When is a church not a church? When the D.C. tax people say it's not. And, well ... when it's not really a church.
A $1.8 million rowhouse on C Street SE that houses a few members of Congress and a group that organizes the National Prayer Breakfast is no longer tax-exempt, reports the Post. Those mean ol' tax assessors in the District decided that those poor, deprived congressmen needed to pay taxes on the house they're living in -- just too bad they couldn't take away their vote while they're at it.
The house has been the home of three congressmen and two senators, many of whom have a religious bent. They lived on the upper floors while the lower floors were used for office space and prayer meetings. The paper notes that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford used to visit for "Christian Bible Study," which probably isn't the same level of euphemism that "hiking the Appalachian Trail" is.
After tax assessors took a closer look at the property, they removed a chunk of the exemption. The building is now only 34 percent exempt (accounting for the lower quarters). The residences account for the remaining 66 percent, and the paper notes that next year's tax bill will be over $10,000.
That's a lot of money for those pious legislators to be donating to such a heathen city.
It's such a shame that these noble legislators are forced into this situation. Don't we know who they are? We should curry them with special favors and first-class treatment above and beyond the way the common D.C. resident would be treated.
But since they're such good Christian gentlemen, they'll no doubt offer to make restitution for their improperly non-taxed property. For sure some time later this week, we'll hear about them collectively opening their checkbooks and writing back taxes for the many tens of thousands of dollars the building owes the city. Right?