Friday, September 13, 2013

Is the IRS Enforcing Local Environmental Orthodoxy?

IRS inspector general probes whether agency abused Virginia tea partier
The Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury Department is investigating whether an environmental group pressured the Internal Revenue Service into auditing a Virginia farmer and tea partier, according to attorneys, policy analysts and other sources familiar with the case.
Boneta, who is actively pushing for new property rights legislation in the state, is convinced she is on the receiving end of a “deliberate, persistent, coordinated assault.”

She became the subject of an IRS audit after the PEC sued her over the terms of a conservation easement that sits on her property and after Fauquier County issued her a series of citations based on alleged zoning violations that could amount to thousands of dollars in fines.

Email messages and other written information Boneta obtained through a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) show PEC and Fauquier County government officials discussed her case at length in a steady chain of emails and other written messages that were exchanged in 2011 over a period of several months.
She doesn’t know what exactly led to the IRS auditing her, but she suspects at least one well-connected PEC official was involved.
Margaret “Peggy” Richardson — who served as President Clinton’s IRS commissioner in the 1990s — is now an executive board member of the PEC.
Bonner Cohen, senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, does not buy into the idea that Boneta’s audit was the result of happenstance.

“The cozy relationship between power-hungry Fauquier County officials and the well-funded PEC — both intent on bullying Martha Boneta — is symptomatic for the stacked deck so many Americans are facing,” he said. “No sooner had she stood up to their intimidation, then she was slapped with an IRS audit. Pure coincidence, of course.”
This is much too long and complicated an article to successfully excerpt, but it's worth the read.  When government becomes all pervasive, and the governmental officials move in and out of the NGOs that lobby them, abuses can be expected.  Is this one?  Maybe, and it should thoroughly investigated.

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