Pastor Gifts Woman in Need a Car, Illinois Slams Her with Taxes
I don't usually editorialize when I share a news story, but I'll make an exception in this case. A pastor in Illinois gifted a woman in need a car and the state turns around and slams her with a tax bill. That just isn't right.
I saw this story trending on Yahoo News. It's a report from CBS Chicago telling the story of retired pastor Paul Schreck. He gave a vehicle to Simone Lester who had just gone through a divorce and was awaiting a job transfer. The vehicle she was driving was barely operational. Mr. Schreck had a vehicle he no longer needed, so out of an act of kindness he gave it to her.
Both of them went to their local Illinois DMV to fill out the paperwork so the transfer would be legal. They thought they had done everything by the book to make this gift legal and easy. Simone Lester sadly was in for a surprise in the mail a few weeks later. The state of Illinois wanted $759 in taxes.
Bloomberg Tax recently shared a story about tax loopholes that benefitted wealthy real estate investors. I don't know anything about all that mumbo jumbo, but I do think this story of a woman getting gifted a car by a kind pastor and then getting hammered with a tax bill should inspire someone to amend a law or create a new one to allow for special circumstances such as this.
Did the state follow the letter of the law? Perhaps, but common sense says this is not OK. If you want your citizens to express kindness and be charitable, you should reward them when they do it...or at least not punish them.