Maryland’s 8th District

For Immediate Release

September 22, 2016

CONTACT:  Ian Jannetta – 202-225-5341

Van Hollen Statement on Passage of Bill Inspired by Maryland Farmers

Washington, DCMaryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen released the following statement after House passage of the Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act, legislation co-sponsored by Congressman Van Hollen that would prevent the IRS from seizing taxpayer funds unless those funds were obtained from illegal activity:

“Today, the House took an important bipartisan step to protect American taxpayers from overzealous actions by the IRS. Thanks to the advocacy of Maryland farmers Randy and Karen Sowers, who had $63,000 unnecessarily seized from their bank account by the IRS, this commonsense legislation is one step closer to helping other small business owners live without the fear and inconveniences they suffered. I commend Representatives Roskam and Crowley and members of the Ways and Means Committee for their bipartisan work on this issue.”


Congressman Van Hollen is a co-sponsor of the Clyde-Hirsch-Sowers RESPECT Act, inspired in part by Randy and Karen Sowers, the owners and operators of South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland. Under federal bank deposit reporting rules, the IRS seized over $63,000 of their money — even though they had done nothing otherwise illegal. They had to settle with the government and pay $29,000 in 2012. After filing claims and testifying multiple times before Congress, the Sowers finally got their money back earlier this year.