C-Street Christian house in D.C. loses evasive tax-free church status

The C-Street townhouse that serves as a home away from home to conservative Christian lawmakers and that has been the site of recent high-profile sex scandals has been registered as a Church by its owners as a tax dodge for years. Now the jig is up. The C-Street owners reportedly paid the government, which pays their renters’ salaries, as much as $1.7 thousand in taxes for last month alone.

The C-Street 'church'
The C-Street 'church'

According to TPMMuckraker, a recent assessment by the Office of Tax and Revenue for Washington D.C. found the house was no church, that it was mostly being rented out as living quarters. Going forward, 66 percent of the home will now be subject to property tax. TPMMuckraker reports the taxable assessment as $1,834,500. The owners paid $1,714.70 in taxes for October.

The building is owned by The Family, which TPM describes colorfully as a “secretive international Christian organization.” Recent C-Street residents include Senators John Ensign, R-NV, Tom Coburn, R-OK, Sam Brownback, R-KS, and Jim DeMint, R-SC, and Reps. Zach Wamp, R-TN, Mike Doyle, D-PA and the author of the anti-choice health reform Stupak Amendment, Bart Stupak, D-MI.

It was the repeated GOP sex scandals that likely brought the home to the attention of the tax men.

TPMMuckracker:

The C Street house has lately been the subject of unwanted attention thanks to its role in three GOP sex scandals. Ensign, who reportedly recently moved out of the house, was confronted there last year by his fellow C Streeters, including Coburn, about his affair with a top aide’s wife. South Carolina governor Mark Sanford revealed this summer that he had received counseling from the house’s denizens over his own randy hijinx with his Argentinean mistress. And the wife of former GOP congressman Chip Pickering has alleged in divorce proceedings that the house was the site of “wrongful conduct” between her husband and his girlfriend.

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