The Sioux City Journal and Iowa Independent each follow a report in Roll Call naming U.S. Rep. Steve King as one among four members of Congress wrongly benefiting from property tax breaks on their second homes in the District of Columbia. From Iowa Independent:
The exemption allows people who own homes in Washington, D.C., to receive a $67,500 reduction on the assessed value of their home. The deduction also caps increases on the assessed value of homes at 10 percent above the previous year’s tax assessment. It is not supposed to be available to those who claim residency in another state even if they have a home in the District.
King, who bought a one-bedroom condominium in D.C. in 2005 for $325,000, told Roll Call he believes “the D.C. tax department made a mistake.” A King spokesman declined further comment to Roll Call.
You can see how a mistake like this might be made. On the other hand, this is exactly the sort of thing King would jump on if it involved some liberal Dem, so fair game. It also doesn’t help, as Iowa Independent notes, that King has played a key roll in stopping a bill that would give DC real representation in Congress. Taxation without representation is apparently working out well for him.
How about some good news? The Register reports that Balltown’s historic Breitbach’s restaurant is rebuilding again after a second fire in less than a year destroyed the landmark last October. If all goes according to plan, customers will be sitting down to home cooking and great pies in July. Then they’ll take a short stroll, or perhaps too-full waddle, down the street to enjoy the view. All will be right with the world.
A man was stopped trying to break into the set of Dacing with the Starsto see contestant/West Des Moines Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson. Police searched his car and found loaded guns, duct tape and love letters. A restraining order has been issued.
One of the country’s most wanted fugitives was working in a Boone tattoo shop, says Radio Iowa. Goes by the name “Suicide.” Of course he does.
There’s lots of love among Democrats at the Statehouse. A House committee stripped some key provisions out of a big health care reform bill that passed the Senate. The DMR reports that didn’t make Sen. Jack Hatch, D-Des Moines, very happy at all:
The deletions outraged Sen. Jack Hatch, a Des Moines Democrat who shepherded the bill through the Senate. Hatch blamed House leaders, who he said caved in to pressure from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.
“They’re doing it because they want to be friends with some very powerful people,” Hatch said. He vowed to fight to reverse the deletions.
House Speaker Patrick Murphy scoffed at Hatch’s allegations. “Give me a break. Jack’s full of it,” he said Wednesday evening. Murphy denied having anything to do with the amendments, though he said parts of the original bill “went a little bit too far.”
Full of love and respect for the legislative process. I’m sure that’s what he meant. If this keeps up there are going to be some very uncomfortable moments at Legislature Prom.
This year’s theme? “Just Me, and You, And Rapidly Declining Revenue.” Magic.
And finally, in this morning’s how bad is the economy, I turn to the Omaha World-Herald. It’s not a local story, but the paper fronts it’s Web page with a NY Times story about tent cities popping up around the country. Evidently President Obama was asked about this phenomenon at his press conference. I must have missed it, distracted at times from our dear leader by a feverish game of Hi-Ho Cherry-O!
I won, by the way.