- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
Cheh blasts Gray’s veto of D.C. Council bonds-tax compromise
Question of the Day
Council member Mary M. Cheh was livid Wednesday about Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s use of a pocket veto to make a tax on out-of-state bonds retroactive, even though the D.C. Council voted to delay implementation of the tax until 2012.
Mr. Gray said his intention was to honor the District’s promises to bond raters on Wall Street by keeping $13.4 million in the city’s fund balance instead of delaying the tax, even though he recognizes the unfairness of a retroactive assessment on D.C. residents who earn interest income on the bonds.
“As soon as we put money in, are we going to take money out?” Mr. Gray said Wednesday. “It’s the underlying principle that’s involved.”
The bonds tax is the first of its kind on D.C. residents, who had enjoyed the exemption even though every other jurisdiction in the United States taxes out-of-state bonds. It was also a point of contention during budget talks earlier this year, specifically around questions of when it should be begin and how the revenue should be used.
For now, it is retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year.
Mrs. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, said she had not gotten notice Tuesday night of the mayor’s veto, which rolls back her extensive efforts to delay the tax. Constituents in her relatively affluent ward hold a large percentage of the out-of-state bonds.
“We’re putting money in,” she said. “We’re just not putting as much money in.”
Coincidentally, Mrs. Cheh and Mr. Gray pitched their divergent views at a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday morning at the Guy Mason Recreation Center in Mrs. Cheh’s ward. The pair exchanged private comments even as they attempted to smile for cameras with a large pair of scissors.
Mr. Gray also said he had two lengthy meetings with council Chairman Kwame R. Brown on Tuesday to discuss the pocket veto, specifically a decision not to sign a technical clarification bill tied to the fiscal 2012 budget.
“Needless to say, he’s at a different place than I am,” Mr. Gray said.
To amend the situation or reverse the mayor’s actions, the council will need to introduce emergency legislation and approve it with nine votes from the 13-member body in an impromptu session during recess or when they reconvene in mid-September, according to a Brown spokeswoman.
Mr. Brown released a statement to air his disapproval of the veto and reiterate that the council is being more proactive than the executive.
The situation could set up another tussle over the bonds tax when the council returns from its recess this fall.
Council member Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat, spurred an effort to make the bonds tax permanent instead of “buying it back” through additional revenues. He succeeded in a contentious 7-6 vote.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- House panel OKs resolution to sue president for Obamacare delays
- Contrasting judgments on Obama's health care hours apart; appeals court calls subsidies unlawful
- New Democratic caucus will pressure GOP governors to expand Medicaid
- Insurers cough up refunds to subscribers under Obamacare ‘80-20 rule’
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- Brian Kelly, Notre Dame ready for different route to title
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq