Regional Reaction to IRS-Tea Party Targeting
The internal treasury investigation that found the Internal Revenue Service improperly selected conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for further appraisal has outraged Congress and groups across the country. Some organizations across the Northeast are concerned, and others have felt the influence of the IRS targeting. North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has reaction from some of local patriot groups.
The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation over the Internal Revenue Service's actions, and three Congressional committees are investigating the targeting of tea party and other conservative groups. Bob Schultz says his disputes with the IRS go back years. He is founder and chair of two organizations formed in 1997, a 501-C3 and a 501-C4.
Schultz says the IRS revoked his groups’ tax-exempt status at the end of 2008, retroactive to their founding, and imposed a tax penalty. As he battles that decision, he has tried to obtain tax-exempt status for another group.
The Upstate NY Tea Party formed in northern New York about four years ago, but has gone dormant after its founder stepped down due to illness. Mark Barie, however, remains active, and notes that when the group formed, they were advised not to seek tax-exempt status.
Vermonters for Liberty Chair Steven Howard says that group has not had problems with the IRS, but he is quick to point out that what the IRS has done is hardly unique.
Nevertheless, Howard says people should respond with disdain and displeasure.
A report released this week by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said ineffective management at the IRS allowed agents to improperly target tea party groups for more than 18 months.