Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Frank Wolf's Attention"

Courtesy of the excellent blog, Leesburg Tomorrow, here are some thoughts on "Frank Wolf's Attention."

It would be nice if Frank Wolf paid a little bit better attention to his district.

First, Frank Wolf pays people in Ohio and New Mexico to look at online porn.

Then Frank Wolf is asleep at the wheel as AOL moves its headquarters out of Dulles.

And now, Frank Wolf is inserting himself in debates over whether an Indian tribe in Connecticut deserves recognition?

Surely there are issues that matter to the 10th District that are more important than Internet porn and Connecticut tribal policy?

Personally, I'm still waiting to hear Frank Wolf's comments on his political allies' -- Ken "Fairfax County Public Schools are Failing" Cuccinelli and Jill "Mark Tate fiasco" Holtzman Vogel -- shenanigans. But maybe he's just too busy paying attention to those other things.


28 Days said...

Sorry charlie - the post put out a new story clearing Vogel in tomorrows paper. You may not want to vote for her - but you and the other blogs that jumped on this owe her an apology. See this:

City Officials Take Blame for Va. Senate Contender's Tax Break

By Sandhya Somashekhar
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 11, 2007; Page B04

D.C. tax officials said yesterday that it was their fault that a state Senate candidate from Virginia got an improper tax break on her Washington Circle condominium.

The candidate, Jill Holtzman Vogel (R), and her husband never applied for the city's homestead deduction, said Natalie Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Office of Tax and Revenue.

Wilson said the condominium's previous owner was getting the deduction, and the tax department incorrectly grandfathered in the deduction after Vogel bought the property. Earlier in the week, the tax office declined to discuss individual taxpayer cases.

"We did make a mistake," Wilson said. "I would like to acknowledge we gave the credit in error."

The tax benefit allows homeowners to cut $60,000 off the value of their home when calculating their property taxes. Homeowners are allowed to take the deduction only for their primary residence.

Vogel and her husband, Alex Vogel, live in Upperville, where she is running for office in the 27th District. Alex Vogel, a GOP strategist, said he stays in the condominium a couple of days a week when Congress is in session.

Jill Vogel is in a tight race with Karen Schultz (D), a professor at Shenandoah University. Along with independent Donald Marro, they are hoping to succeed retiring Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. (R-Winchester).

As reported in yesterday's Washington Post, the Vogels had been receiving the deduction since they bought the condominium at the Residences at the Ritz-Carlton in November 2005. They said Monday that they had no idea why they were getting the tax break and that they had never applied for it.

District officials had said that sometimes a third party, such as the company handling the settlement of a property, will fill out the form required to get the deduction. They added that the homeowner must sign it to get the credit, although yesterday they acknowledged that they never received such a form from the Vogels.

Alex Vogel said yesterday that he was relieved and that he was planning to return the money to the tax office. He produced a document from the real estate closing that indicated that he and his wife had not applied for the tax credit.

"I'm glad that D.C. acknowledged the error," he said. "I was confident we did everything we were supposed to, and I'm glad D.C. has confirmed it."

About 90,000 District property owners receive the homestead deduction, which is designed to make homeownership more affordable, Wilson said.

Last year, an inspector general's audit revealed that the city was losing as much as $3.4 million a year because of residents taking the deduction improperly. The Office of Tax and Revenue is undertaking an audit to weed out violators and those getting the benefit unknowingly

Lowell said...

The Post changed its story and so did we. But don't forget, Holtzman Vogel is still embroiled in this. And then there's this. Wonderful...

Lowell said...

Comment by Marc Fisher of the Washington Post a few minutes ago...

"Marc Fisher: Sure, the District needs to keep its records clean, and they should have immediately registered the fact that you no longer qualified for a homestead exemption. But that's not the fact pattern in the Vogel case: In that case, the tax bills the family received continued to show that a homestead exemption was in force, yet there's no indication that the Vogels did anything to alert the city to the fact that they were getting an undeserved tax break."