- Pope Francis wins another ‘Person of the Year’ — from gay rights magazine
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you’ll get an Obama barf bag
- Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds
- Expert: Obamacare ‘death spiral’ fears exaggerated
- Alabama firefighters dig for survivors of apartment blast
- Big Sur wildfire destroys home of firefighting chief
- ‘ ’Twas the Night Before Christmas’ set for mock trial to argue authorship
- Angela Merkel’s third term as Germany’s chancellor to be marked by move to left
- Mega Millions entices with record-setting jackpot: Half a billion so far
- Dennis Rodman heads to North Korea — despite execution, political purge
Business leaders balk at Gray’s tax plan
Cite as harsh budget remedy
D.C. business and trade leaders sounded the alarm Monday about Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s call to increase or create 13 taxes to close a $322 million budget gap in the upcoming fiscal year.
Barbara Lang, president of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, told the City Council that tax increases are a “drug” in the nation’s capital and suggested that passing a fiscal 2012 budget with additional burdens on merchants, residents and the city’s professional class will drive the District into a recession it has so far avoided.
“It is time for rehab for this government,” she said before the city’s Committee of the Whole. “The government can not simply tax and fee its way to sustained budgets. Businesses close, people move and less revenue comes in.”
Mr. Gray’s $9.6 billion budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year includes tax initiatives expected to raise $127 million, including a tax on live theater and raising the income tax on households earning more than $200,000, from 8.5 percent to 8.9 percent. It also raises the parking tax from 12 percent to 18 percent and the tax on carryout liquor, from 9 percent to 10 percent.
“The buck starts with the mayor, but it stops here with council,” said Mr. Dinegar, who raised questions about the mayors call for calculating tax obligations for companies with locations in and outside the city through a new method called combined reporting.
The mayor’s office said the method will generate $22 million annually.But Mr. Dinegar said a company’s unprofitable branches in more depressed areas of the country could water down promising gains by the company’s sites within the District.
“That’s going to be a revenue loss,” he said. “My caution is that the combined reporting at $22 million is false on its face.”
Testimony from the council members provided some insight into how they might vote next month on the Mr. Gray’s plan.
Council Member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, supported the income-tax increase - from 8.5 percent to 8.9 percent - saying it was an issue of “those most able to pay” versus “those least able to pay.”
He said the city’s neediest also are facing a loss because $31 million in being cut from such program as homelessness-prevention services, interim disability assistance and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families fund.
Council Member Jack Evans, chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, said increasing taxes is easier than facing the ire of city agencies and other beneficiaries for cutting services.
“If you do it and get away with it, you do it again and again,” said Mr. Evans, Ward 2 Democrat, who has raised concerns about the mayor’s budget from the moment it was introduced.
He also pointed out a 3.1 percent spending increase in the mayor’s budget, compared with the fiscal 2011 budget.
© Copyright 2013 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.
- 5 million fall into Obamacare coverage gap
- Microsoft's Kurt DelBene to oversee Obamacare repairs, replacing Jeffrey Zients
- Rep. Steve Stockman: Give my campaign $10, and you'll get an Obama barf bag
- Expert: Obamacare 'death spiral' fears exaggerated
- Administration cites Obamacare boost for seniors
Latest Blog Entries
- Iowa survey: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie holds sway in general contest against Hillary Clinton
- Obama's approval rating continues to suffer at the close of his fifth year: poll
- Sen. Mark Warner: Budget deal a good step, lets Congress turn to real reforms
- Antibacterial soap may do more harm than good
- Rep. Paul Ryan's popularity soars in Iowa: poll
By John R. Bolton
The president fiddles at his domestic altar while the world burns
- PRUDEN: The scam that will not die
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- Top Democrats reject court ruling over NSA spying on Americans
- Zadzooks: The Joker sixth scale figure review (Sideshow Collectibles)
- Embassy Row: India strikes back over diplomat's arrest
- Domino's launches its first vegan pizza
- Army to cut up to 4,000 captains and majors
- Minister: Iceland refused to help FBI on WikiLeaks
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Wall Street news for retail investors who want to know what's going on.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow