Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., refused to resign his chairmanship of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee after revelations that he failed to pay taxes on rental income from a vacation villa in the Dominican Islands.
Rangel's lawyer admitted that the congressman probably owes nearly $10,000 in federal, state and local taxes, including about $5,000 to the IRS, on the nearly $75,000 in rental income he earned on the beachfront property since buying it in 1988, according to the Associated Press. The rental income went directly to paying down his mortgage. Rangel insisted at a press conference that he was unaware that he needed to report the income and pay taxes on it. The managers of the resort where the property is located did not provide him with detailed financial statements, he claimed.
Rangel has asked the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct to examine the matter. The committee is also looking into Rangel's rental of four rent-stabilized apartments in his Harlem residence and his use of official stationery to solicit donations for a college center named in his honor.
House minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called for Rangel to step down from his committee chairmanship, but Rangel said he intends to stay where he is. He has been in Congress for 38 years.
"I really don't believe that making mistakes means you have to give up your career," said Rangel.
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