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IRS Scandal: Ohio Tea Party Leader Waiting for Answers

Updated: Saturday, May 18 2013, 12:28 PM EDT
MEDINA, Ohio (Dana Jay) -- A congressional hearing yielded few answers for an Ohio group that suspects the Internal Revenue Service unduly delayed their application for tax exempt status.

Ohio Christian Alliance President Chris Long said Friday afternoon, the more he learns, the more “troublesome” and “outrageous” the scandal becomes.

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee grilled ousted acting IRS chief Steve Miller Friday about the targeting of conservative groups, which received tougher scrutiny between 2010 and 2012.

Many were Ohio Tea Party groups. Some are associated with conservative social causes.

Regarding to the Ohio Christian Alliance, U.S. Rep Jim Renacci, (R )-Ohio, asked Miller, “They’re advocating life, faith, and freedom.  What was the IRS concerned about?”

In a letter submitted to the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Long requested that members ask Miller if 13 months was a reasonable amount of time to process an application, and if the requests of other organizations with similar missions were processed in the same amount of time.

Miller said he could not speak to an individual case. 

The Ohio Christian Alliance filed for 501(c)3 tax exempt status in February 2011.

On December 9, 2011, Long received a letter from the IRS requesting information he found “a little odd.”

The agency noted the organization opposes anti-Christian bigotry and asked if they planned to file law suits against such activity. 
 
“I told [an attorney] I thought [it] was a little odd because the [American Civil Liberties Union] is a c-3 and they file suits all the live-long day and they are opponents of what we believe as an organization,” Long said. 

The group’s application was approved in February 2012. 

Long said he believes that, in the meantime, the Ohio Christian Alliance missed out on thousands of dollars in funding that could have been used to help churches organize voter registration drives.

“We can only say that, in the year previous, a $50,000 grant was withheld because we did not have the determination letter,” Long said. IRS Scandal: Ohio Tea Party Leader Waiting for Answers


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