Pastors: Lawmakers' House 'Masquerading as Church'

C Street Center illegally giving lawmakers too-low rent, they say
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2010 3:25 PM CDT
Pastors: Lawmakers' House 'Masquerading as Church'
133 C Street S.E., a red-brick structure registered as a church and affiliated with secretive Christian group "The Family."   (AP Photo)

Lawmakers such as Bart Stupak and John Ensign are getting a big and possibly illegal financial break by renting rooms at a DC boarding house "masquerading as a church," say a group of Ohio pastors. In two complaints filed with the IRS, the pastors charge that the C Street Center is improperly declared a church for tax purposes, which allows it to offer rents way below market value.

The cost for a one-bedroom with housekeeping is $950 a month, while the pastors say a place with similar amenities near the Capitol runs up to $7,500, reports the Columbus Dispatch. The pastors also say the center is linked to the secretive Christian organization The Family, which may be trying to curry political favors. They want lawmakers to report their savings as income and pay taxes on it. One pastor tells Talking Points Memo he's worried about the separation of church and state. "I'm also a passionate voter."

(More The Family stories.)

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