Here's the rule: I guess Joe and his accountant can't read.The instruction manual provided by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for filling out financial disclosure forms requires that when a property provides rental income, "the gross value of the entire property should be reported even if only part of the property (e.g. the basement of a residence) is used for rental purposes.
4:13 PM CDT, July 29, 2008U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg on Tuesday fixed his personal financial disclosure forms to report a higher value of his home in Washington, D.C.
In a letter to the House ethics committee, the Bloomfield Township Republican amended reports between 2003 and 2007 to say the value of his property is between $500,000 and $1 million.
Knollenberg had previously reported the home's value at between $50,000 and $100,000.
Spokesman Nate Bailey called the error a "typo" by an accountant who mistakenly reported the value of a basement apartment that Knollenberg rented out -- not the value of the entire house.
Bailey said Knollenberg fixed his financial forms immediately after being alerted by the Roll Call newspaper. Roll Call ran a story Tuesday saying Knollenberg underreported the value of his Washington house.
Lawmakers don't have to include their personal homes in financial disclosure reports unless the properties generate rental income.
Knollenberg supports efforts in Congress to require legislators to report all the mortgages they hold, Bailey said.