Let's keep our crappy capital crappy

The Washington Times weighs in on the proposed commuter tax lawsuit with this staff editorial. Predictably, their opinion is, "Hey, don't tax us!"

The Times doesn't even refute the claim that D.C. needs or deserves the money, which is good, since even the General Accounting Office says that D.C. faces a structural deficit because the cost of providing services exceeds its taxing ability.

Instead, their sole argument seems to be that it's bad to try to overturn any part of the 30-year-old D.C. Self-Government Act. What, is it written on Jesus' burial cloth or something?

Er, I mean... "Rev." Moon's... future burial cloth? Or something? Hm. And then:

Both pieces of legislation propose the same income tax rates for non-D.C. residents: Individuals earning up to $10,000 would pay the District .5 percent of their income taxes; people earning between $10,000 and $40,000 would pay 1 percent; and people earning more than $40,000 would pay 2 percent.


Still, if the city were permitted to impose a commuter tax, the consequences would be laughable, if not downright frightening: What would D.C. government do with $1.4 billion in additional annual revenue?
Gee, I don't know, since the 2 percent tax propsed by the referenced legislation would only provide $540 million in revenue, according to this article from last week's Post.

Alice M. Rivlin, director of the Brookings Greater Washington Research Program and a former D.C. financial control board chairman, said a recent Brookings study estimated that if nonresident workers were taxed at the city's current graduated rate of up to 9.3 percent, a commuter tax would yield $1.4 billion. But she said a lower rate -- such as the graduated rate of up to 2 percent suggested by council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) -- would be a more reasonable option and would yield about $540 million.
A lesser person might suggest that the Times is borrowing our President's "selective-fact-using" technique. I am that lesser person.

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