Local resident and popular radio talk show host Mark Levin, recently discussed his interesting quarrel with Loudoun Board of Supervisors member, Ken Reid (Leesburg District) on air to millions of listeners. [read_more]The situation involved Levin’s business, Landmark Legal Foundation, a $2M non-profit staffed with conservative attorneys fighting the IRS, EPA, voter rights, school choice, etc., also located in Loudoun County. You can listen to the segment HERE. It should begin automatically, if not click on “Play Now” for the 11/12/14 show. Start at the 76:00 minute mark and listen to the 83:00 minute mark.
In brief, Levin applied for personal property tax exemptions for Landmark Legal and claims that Supervisor Reid singled out Landmark’s application among many others who are left leaning. In fact, Reid did question Landmark’s application and took issue that Landmark did not articulate or articulate well enough, what Loudoun focus Landmark offers to attain the exemption.
As a non-profit organization there are certain benefits that come to the non-profit status, such as, the waiving of certain property taxes. Apparently, a non-profit in Loudoun can apply but it is up to the Board whether to grant the exemption.
Levin, pointing out that its an all republican board, made a quick decision after believing Reid targeted Landmark:
“Well I’m going to announce now on the air, they can stick their eight thousand dollar property tax bill, because I’m not going to answer Mr. Reid or anybody else beyond what we have told them.”
Further, to Ken personally,
“Don’t ever, ever come up to me, ever, again.”
And, about the money, Levin says to Reid,
“So you can give that money to some liberal group that I’m sure benefits Loudoun County, some left wing environmental group, some teacher union group, or what have you.”
To the rest of the Board, Levin stated,
“But I do want to thank the chairman of the board of supervisors and the other supervisors who understand the fight for liberty, who understand the fight for school choice, who understand the fight for the constitution and they should be grateful that I located our offices in Loudoun County, Virginia, because maybe I’ll move them.”
In fairness, I wanted to give Supervisor Reid the opportunity to respond, which he quickly did as follows:
“The day after I asked about Landmark at the public hearing… [the] commissioner of revenue, sent emails to ALL 21 non profits who applied for exemptions from property taxes and personal property taxes to better ascertain their ‘Loudoun focus.’ I also had concerns about two other non profits, but their application referenced specifically what they do for Loudoun. Landmark’s application did not and Ben can provide it for you if you wish.
Hence, Landmark was not ‘singled out’ and I voted for their exemption to go to public hearing (Letourneu abstaining, Delgaudio voting no).
As a result of [the commissioner’s] inquiry to all the non profits who applied for exemptions, he received an email Thursday from Peter Hutchinson, an attorney in Landmark’s Kansas City, MO, office, who said Landmark (at Mark Levin’s request) was withdrawing its application for the personal property tax exemptions.
I called Mr. Hutchinson Friday, and we had a good conversation. I conveyed my steadfast appreciation for the work Landmark does and my appreciation for Mark Levin and his books and radio show. I gave my number and email to Mark in case he wished to get in touch with me.”
Easily there are two sides to this and likely a third if we are learning that, as a reaction, the commissioner sent out letters after the public hearing to all applicants (obviously reactionary and to ensure fairness and/or reduce liability). Certainly we have all learned that 1) a non-profit can obtain personal property exemptions in Loudoun, yet 2) to obtain and benefit from that exemption the application must assert their Loudoun focus. In other words, if it is a non-profit which just happens to be located in Loudoun–demographics do not carry the day for exemptions.
Baffling is Levin giving up. He is the President of Landmark Legal Foundation with a staff of attorneys who do nothing by fight for rights, fairness and the Constitution. Levin fights the establishment through his radio show and best-selling books by exposing problems and offering solutions. Levin should have articulated some amount of Loudoun focus, however small (he asserts several basic reasons during the broadcast), followed through, and either set a base line for attaining or being denied the exemption. Instead, he tossed his hands in the air, gave in to Supervisor Reid and decided to withdraw the application, paying the $8K+ in personal property tax for his non-profit. That type of reaction does nothing for the next [conservative] non-profit except leave it in their hands to fight.