Tax Status Of Lawmakers’ Religious Refuge Disputed

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The three-story, brick townhouse at 133 C Street SE sits a half-block from the Cannon House Office Building, roughly three blocks from the Capitol — the home-away-from-home for a regular contingent of fundamentalist Christian members of Congress, who can pray in the living room and walk to work.

The C Street Center, which owns the 1880 vintage townhouse, claims status as a church. And as with other religious organizations, the IRS takes the center's word that it is a church. As a result, the center doesn't have to file public tax returns, as most nonprofit organizations must do.

The arrangement fits the C Street Center's practically invisible public presence. But now a group of 13 ministers has asked the IRS to revoke that church status.

Their complaint, delivered to the IRS on Tuesday, says: "An organization whose chief activity is providing room and board to members of Congress is not a church." It cites a list of 15 factors that the agency considers in granting church status.

Read or listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesSenate

Posted February 25, 2010 at 6:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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