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life's little mysteries

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  • cassondrawrites@aol.com
    The mystery is why I agreed to post these articles for our absentee landlord. However, it being my birthday today, I am reminded that I do owe him something,
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 10, 2004
      The mystery is why I agreed to post these articles for our absentee landlord.
      However, it being my birthday today, I am reminded that I do owe him
      something, so for those of you who are interested...

      COMMERCIAL APPEAL
      September 10, 2004
      Kuglin ends tax battle with IRS
      FedEx pilot said federal income tax not for her
      By David Flaum
      FedEx pilot Vernice Kuglin has agreed to pay nearly $532,000 in back taxes
      and penalties on six years of income, apparently ending her efforts to show that
      federal income tax law does not apply to her.
      An unspecified amount of interest will be added to the levies for income
      Kuglin, 59, earned from 1996 to 2001, according to documents filed in U.S. Tax
      Court in Washington.
      Neither Kuglin nor her lawyer, Christopher Ertl of Milwaukee, Wis., could be
      reached for comment.
      Kuglin is out of town until early this weekend, said Don Winfield, a friend
      to whose number callers to Kuglin are referred.
      Ertl did not return a phone message left at his office Thursday afternoon.
      The Internal Revenue Service has no comment on the decision, said Dan Boone,
      media relations officer in Nashville.
      In August 2003, Kuglin was acquitted on criminal charges of evading $920,000
      in income and with filing false W4 forms between 1996 and 2001.
      W4s are the documents used to determine how much money is withheld from a
      paycheck to cover federal income taxes.
      In an interview in the weeks after the acquittal, Kuglin said she became
      involved in the Libertarian Party in the early 1990s and began to study the U.S.
      Constitution and the federal tax code. Based on that research, she decided
      federal tax law did not apply to her and allows for voluntary compliance.
      In the mid-1990s, Kuglin wrote to the IRS asking why she had to pay income
      taxes, but her letters were ignored, she testified during a five-day trial.
      She stopped paying federal income tax in 1996, she said last year. That led
      to the 2003 indictment.
      Kuglin petitioned the Tax Court for a ruling that she didn't have to pay
      taxes for 1996 to 2001.
      After the criminal case was decided an IRS statement said: "Anyone who
      believes that they are not required to file a tax return should not take solace in
      this jury decision. . . . For the past two years, IRS has issued national news
      releases alerting the public to frivolous tax arguments."
      The Tax Court decision said Kuglin and the IRS agreed on the assessments.
      They included more than $296,000 in unpaid taxes, more than $221,000 in
      penalties for fraudulently failing to file income tax returns and more than $14,000
      for failure to pay estimated income tax, the court documents showed.
      ###################################
      ###################################

      Release Date: AUGUST 18, 2004

      Questions and complaints -- including the threat of a lawsuit -- concerning a
      church's exemptions from local property taxes have raised the profile of a
      review of all the religious and charity- related exemptions granted by the
      municipality of Anchorage, Alaska.

      The immediate debate concerns the Anchorage Baptist Temple (ABT), which owns
      23 properties in the city, including 13 that are not taxed. The church pays
      about $ 30,000 annually in taxes on 10 residential properties, according to
      Pastor Jerry Prevo, but the status of four of its currently exempt housing units
      was questioned by two local citizens, among others.

      In April, then-Assembly member Fay Von Gemmingen wrote to the state assessor
      expressing concerns about possible abuse of exemptions by churches and
      nonprofit organizations, specifically including the ABT. In June an attorney
      representing Anchorage residents Ray Metcalfe and Clyde Baxley wrote to the city
      asking for a detailed review of the church's exemptions.

      "I think the intent of the law is to provide the pastor a place to live.
      We'll give them that, but all these, quote, ministers and associate pastors, they
      don't qualify," Baxley told the Anchorage Daily News. "I am an atheist, but
      that's not why I'm challenging Prevo and [tax-exempt] Native corporations or
      anyone else exempt. I'm searching for fairness in the tax situation."

      The fundamentalist church is not shy about exercising its right to preach its
      religion as it sees fit. In 2003 the ABT unsuccessfully challenged Anchorage
      building regulations with three lighted billboards on its campus that violated
      height and size limitations.

      Prevo, the pastor, is influential in the conservative wing of Alaska's
      Republican Party and commonly mixes church and state issues. With state primary
      elections set for August 24, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is locked in
      a tough fight with former Alaska Senate President Mike Miller for the
      Republican Party nomination, was introduced by Prevo and brought to the altar to
      introduce the featured preacher during his church's Sunday service on August 15.
      The service is broadcast live on at least one statewide commercial TV station.

      Anchorage Assessor Marty McGee said the four properties will be taxed "if we
      don't get any new information that changes the picture." McGee had set an
      August 6 deadline for the church to support its claims. The church brought its
      attorney and some data to a meeting on that date, but not enough.

      "The information provided to date is not adequate to sustain the exemptions
      on the four houses," McGee said on August 17. He also set a new deadline of
      August 20 for the church to finally fill in the blanks and avoid legal action.

      "We won't keep extending [the deadline] forever," McGee said, emphasizing his
      hope to avoid formal court action. "Other people concerned about these
      exemptions have threatened to sue over that. ABT has threatened to defend their
      exemption status in court if they need to."

      Prevo conceded that two of the four housing properties may be taxable, but he
      also said the dispute arose, in large part, from an apparent change in the
      city's interpretation of exemption requirements.

      "We don't feel the tax assessor is trying to make it hard on us. He's trying
      to do his job," Prevo said of the city assessor. All of his church's property
      is or should be assessed annually as is any other property in Anchorage, Prevo
      said, and none of its exemptions was questioned when assessments were issued
      in January.

      Alaska law places the burden of proving an exemption on the property owner
      but allows exemptions for places of worship and religious ministers' residences,
      and it is this law that may be the focus of the confusion. Based on a 1985
      Alaska Supreme Court ruling, State Assessor Steve Van Sant said, a residence
      must be occupied by a "spiritual leader" to qualify for an exemption.

      Two of the residences are occupied by full-time teachers at the church's
      school. A third is home to an ordained minister who also teaches at the school and
      leads the church orchestra. Another is occupied by a man who moved there from
      a local homeless shelter and was given a job as a church janitor.

      One residence, a duplex used by two of the teachers, might not qualify for
      exemption as a parsonage, Prevo conceded, but would qualify for exemption under
      "the charitable thing," another legal provision exempting food banks and other
      charitable endeavors.

      "We listed its use and they accepted its use last year. This year it's the
      same listing, and they're saying it doesn't qualify. That's not our fault --
      that's their fault," Prevo said.

      The minister also claimed that the church never received a demand letter from
      the city, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News, and had gotten a letter of
      apology from the city for the account.

      McGee, the Anchorage assessor, said that both of those claims are inaccurate
      and that the city hasn't apologized to the church for anything. He did
      acknowledge that city records on exemptions are lacking for the ABT properties and "a
      couple of hundred" others, which is why the comprehensive review is being
      done.

      "It's an ongoing process. We're trying to take care of the ones that are
      obvious and high-profile first," McGee said.

      Although the church could face a tax bill of something less than $ 5,000 per
      property, the overall revenue at stake for the city is not large, according to
      the assessor.

      "Out of 93,000 taxable parcels a couple of hundred of them are in dispute, so
      it won't make a lot of difference to the amount of taxes received or the
      amount of properties billed in any case," McGee said. "That's one reason why it's
      been historically a low priority for the assessor's office and the city."

      Bob Tkacz, Juneau



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Tamara
      Very interesting, Cassondra. Thanks for passing this along. Best, Tamara ... From: cassondrawrites@aol.com To: Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com Sent: Friday,
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 10, 2004
        Very interesting, Cassondra. Thanks for passing this along.

        Best,
        Tamara
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: cassondrawrites@...
        To: Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, September 10, 2004 6:39 PM
        Subject: [Maury_and_Baty] life's little mysteries


        The mystery is why I agreed to post these articles for our absentee landlord.
        However, it being my birthday today, I am reminded that I do owe him
        something, so for those of you who are interested...

        COMMERCIAL APPEAL
        September 10, 2004
        Kuglin ends tax battle with IRS
        FedEx pilot said federal income tax not for her
        By David Flaum
        FedEx pilot Vernice Kuglin has agreed to pay nearly $532,000 in back taxes
        and penalties on six years of income, apparently ending her efforts to show that
        federal income tax law does not apply to her.
        An unspecified amount of interest will be added to the levies for income
        Kuglin, 59, earned from 1996 to 2001, according to documents filed in U.S. Tax
        Court in Washington.
        Neither Kuglin nor her lawyer, Christopher Ertl of Milwaukee, Wis., could be
        reached for comment.
        Kuglin is out of town until early this weekend, said Don Winfield, a friend
        to whose number callers to Kuglin are referred.
        Ertl did not return a phone message left at his office Thursday afternoon.
        The Internal Revenue Service has no comment on the decision, said Dan Boone,
        media relations officer in Nashville.
        In August 2003, Kuglin was acquitted on criminal charges of evading $920,000
        in income and with filing false W4 forms between 1996 and 2001.
        W4s are the documents used to determine how much money is withheld from a
        paycheck to cover federal income taxes.
        In an interview in the weeks after the acquittal, Kuglin said she became
        involved in the Libertarian Party in the early 1990s and began to study the U.S.
        Constitution and the federal tax code. Based on that research, she decided
        federal tax law did not apply to her and allows for voluntary compliance.
        In the mid-1990s, Kuglin wrote to the IRS asking why she had to pay income
        taxes, but her letters were ignored, she testified during a five-day trial.
        She stopped paying federal income tax in 1996, she said last year. That led
        to the 2003 indictment.
        Kuglin petitioned the Tax Court for a ruling that she didn't have to pay
        taxes for 1996 to 2001.
        After the criminal case was decided an IRS statement said: "Anyone who
        believes that they are not required to file a tax return should not take solace in
        this jury decision. . . . For the past two years, IRS has issued national news
        releases alerting the public to frivolous tax arguments."
        The Tax Court decision said Kuglin and the IRS agreed on the assessments.
        They included more than $296,000 in unpaid taxes, more than $221,000 in
        penalties for fraudulently failing to file income tax returns and more than $14,000
        for failure to pay estimated income tax, the court documents showed.
        ###################################
        ###################################

        Release Date: AUGUST 18, 2004

        Questions and complaints -- including the threat of a lawsuit -- concerning a
        church's exemptions from local property taxes have raised the profile of a
        review of all the religious and charity- related exemptions granted by the
        municipality of Anchorage, Alaska.

        The immediate debate concerns the Anchorage Baptist Temple (ABT), which owns
        23 properties in the city, including 13 that are not taxed. The church pays
        about $ 30,000 annually in taxes on 10 residential properties, according to
        Pastor Jerry Prevo, but the status of four of its currently exempt housing units
        was questioned by two local citizens, among others.

        In April, then-Assembly member Fay Von Gemmingen wrote to the state assessor
        expressing concerns about possible abuse of exemptions by churches and
        nonprofit organizations, specifically including the ABT. In June an attorney
        representing Anchorage residents Ray Metcalfe and Clyde Baxley wrote to the city
        asking for a detailed review of the church's exemptions.

        "I think the intent of the law is to provide the pastor a place to live.
        We'll give them that, but all these, quote, ministers and associate pastors, they
        don't qualify," Baxley told the Anchorage Daily News. "I am an atheist, but
        that's not why I'm challenging Prevo and [tax-exempt] Native corporations or
        anyone else exempt. I'm searching for fairness in the tax situation."

        The fundamentalist church is not shy about exercising its right to preach its
        religion as it sees fit. In 2003 the ABT unsuccessfully challenged Anchorage
        building regulations with three lighted billboards on its campus that violated
        height and size limitations.

        Prevo, the pastor, is influential in the conservative wing of Alaska's
        Republican Party and commonly mixes church and state issues. With state primary
        elections set for August 24, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who is locked in
        a tough fight with former Alaska Senate President Mike Miller for the
        Republican Party nomination, was introduced by Prevo and brought to the altar to
        introduce the featured preacher during his church's Sunday service on August 15.
        The service is broadcast live on at least one statewide commercial TV station.

        Anchorage Assessor Marty McGee said the four properties will be taxed "if we
        don't get any new information that changes the picture." McGee had set an
        August 6 deadline for the church to support its claims. The church brought its
        attorney and some data to a meeting on that date, but not enough.

        "The information provided to date is not adequate to sustain the exemptions
        on the four houses," McGee said on August 17. He also set a new deadline of
        August 20 for the church to finally fill in the blanks and avoid legal action.

        "We won't keep extending [the deadline] forever," McGee said, emphasizing his
        hope to avoid formal court action. "Other people concerned about these
        exemptions have threatened to sue over that. ABT has threatened to defend their
        exemption status in court if they need to."

        Prevo conceded that two of the four housing properties may be taxable, but he
        also said the dispute arose, in large part, from an apparent change in the
        city's interpretation of exemption requirements.

        "We don't feel the tax assessor is trying to make it hard on us. He's trying
        to do his job," Prevo said of the city assessor. All of his church's property
        is or should be assessed annually as is any other property in Anchorage, Prevo
        said, and none of its exemptions was questioned when assessments were issued
        in January.

        Alaska law places the burden of proving an exemption on the property owner
        but allows exemptions for places of worship and religious ministers' residences,
        and it is this law that may be the focus of the confusion. Based on a 1985
        Alaska Supreme Court ruling, State Assessor Steve Van Sant said, a residence
        must be occupied by a "spiritual leader" to qualify for an exemption.

        Two of the residences are occupied by full-time teachers at the church's
        school. A third is home to an ordained minister who also teaches at the school and
        leads the church orchestra. Another is occupied by a man who moved there from
        a local homeless shelter and was given a job as a church janitor.

        One residence, a duplex used by two of the teachers, might not qualify for
        exemption as a parsonage, Prevo conceded, but would qualify for exemption under
        "the charitable thing," another legal provision exempting food banks and other
        charitable endeavors.

        "We listed its use and they accepted its use last year. This year it's the
        same listing, and they're saying it doesn't qualify. That's not our fault --
        that's their fault," Prevo said.

        The minister also claimed that the church never received a demand letter from
        the city, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News, and had gotten a letter of
        apology from the city for the account.

        McGee, the Anchorage assessor, said that both of those claims are inaccurate
        and that the city hasn't apologized to the church for anything. He did
        acknowledge that city records on exemptions are lacking for the ABT properties and "a
        couple of hundred" others, which is why the comprehensive review is being
        done.

        "It's an ongoing process. We're trying to take care of the ones that are
        obvious and high-profile first," McGee said.

        Although the church could face a tax bill of something less than $ 5,000 per
        property, the overall revenue at stake for the city is not large, according to
        the assessor.

        "Out of 93,000 taxable parcels a couple of hundred of them are in dispute, so
        it won't make a lot of difference to the amount of taxes received or the
        amount of properties billed in any case," McGee said. "That's one reason why it's
        been historically a low priority for the assessor's office and the city."

        Bob Tkacz, Juneau



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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