xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Some well-off taxpayers in Washington, D.C., are picking up an easy $30,000 or so from the U.S. Treasury, courtesy of a 1976 “historic preservation” tax code deduction, according to a December Washington Post investigation. About 900 properties qualify, and owners get the deduction merely by forgoing the right to alter the building’s facade (which D.C. law restricts, anyway). Giving up this “right” “earns” them an 11 percent tax deduction, and the average value of qualified buildings (according to the Post) is $1 million (historic facades are not often found on downscale homes), meaning that a claimant in the middle tax bracket would get about $30,000.
In November, the mind reader, The Amazing Kreskin, wrote to the acting governor of his home state of New Jersey that he wanted to help the state shed its image of unethical deals and thus volunteered to sit in government meetings and identify which officials are secretly up to no good.
Stephen J. Marks, 47, was driving in morning traffic on Nov. 3 near Nashville, Tenn., wearing a ski mask and gloves, though the temperature was in the 60s, and an alarmed citizen called police. However, Marks demonstrated that he has a medical condition that necessitates his wearing a ski mask except when the temperature is above 80.
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Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD