"Charley's over The Top In More Ways Than One !"
Rep. Charles Rangel's tax disclosures not only are an embarrassment for the Democratic congressman - they put him far over the limit to qualify for his rent-stabilized Harlem apartments.
While the powerful Ways and Means chairman previously disclosed income at or slightly above the $175,000-a-year stabilization ceiling on previous congressional documents, new revelations could put his earnings at more than $200,000 a year.
The disclosure could put pressure on Rangel to give up his New York housing perks, critics say.
Rangel has so far kept his chairmanship but faces increasing criticism from Republicans and even had to tow his vintage Mercedes-Benz from a House parking garage after The Post revealed that it had been parked there against congressional rules.
According to his congressional disclosure reports, Rangel paid $3,894 a month in 2007 for four apartments in Lenox Terrace, a 1,700-unit luxury complex often described as Harlem's most prestigious address.
The market rent for such units is between $7,465 to $8,125, according to the Web site of the building's owner, the Olnick Organization.
Although Rangel gave up the unit he used as an office, the other three are used as a sprawling residence by him and his wife, Alma.
Under the city's rent guidelines, owners of rent-stabilized apartments are permitted - but not required - to deregulate apartments if they can prove tenants earned more than $175,000 in two consecutive years.
Adding other disclosed investment earnings to his $169,300 congressional salary, Rangel made between $172,802 and $185,200 in 2006. His 2007 income totaled $175,811 to $187,200.
These amounts do not include the rent he has collected from his beachfront villa in the Dominican Republic over the last two years.
The three-bedroom villa, which he has owned since 1987, rents for up to $1,100 in the busy tourist season and is the most requested unit at the Punta Cana resort.
According to his lawyer, Lanny Davis, Rangel failed to disclose $75,000 in income from the villa over the last 20 years - an average of just under $4,000 a year.
If the $4,000 were added to his income, it would push Rangel well over the stabilization limit.
And that doesn't count income from other rental properties or perks, like the congressional parking space that Rangel has yet to disclose - but has asked a forensic accountant to look into. http://www.nypost.com/seven/09212008/news/regionalnews/unstable_rangel_130098.htm