Sunday, April 23, 2006

Whose House Is It?

You may have read the story on per diems for state legislators in today's Inky. ("Pa. legislators boost their pay day by day by..." by Mario Cattabiani).

Read it for yourself, but the part that struck me was that a long-time legislator who takes a lot of per diems, purchased a house in Harrisburg in 1989 and paid it off a few years ago, but continues to collect per diems to pay for taxes, utilities, etc. I would dearly love to find out the details of this mortgage. One big question I have is that if this house was bought and paid for and maintained by per diem allowances paid to state legislators, when the house is sold (presumably at a profit) who gets the money? Can we at least be reimbursed for the amounts our tax dollars paid into it?

There are those who say that the Inky has it in for some people in particular. It may or may not be true, I haven't followed individual reporters' stories enough to say. But I do know what I was taught as a child, that just because everyone else is doing it, that doesn't make it right, and I doubt the IRS would have much sympathy for a tax evader whose defense was "lots of people cheat on their taxes, you're just picking on me!" No, you were just unlucky enough to get caught.

No comments: