- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
SIMMONS: D.C.’s incentive for teachers to live in city is a good idea
Question of the Day
Amid a flurry of legislative activity on Tuesday, approval of a $9.4 billion spending plan for the District’s 2013 fiscal year was an encouraging piece of tax legislation.
Introduced by D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange, the Public School Teachers Income Exclusion Act proposes granting tax breaks to teachers who work for D.C. public schools and live in the city. The only major caveat appears to be that a teacher must have taught a full academic year to become eligible.
Such a mandate seems reasonable when compared with other D.C. tax breaks, such as the D.C. homestead deduction, which grants property-tax breaks to homeowners who own and reside in homes in the District, and the first-time D.C. homebuyer credit, a federal deduction that mandates new homeowners stay in their homes for five years.
The teachers tax legislation is encouraging for a couple of reasons, chief among them that the tax break likely will mean teachers will be fully invested in the city’s education system and not merely collecting a paycheck to pay union dues.
As things stand now, when most D.C. public school educators and coaches leave our schoolhouses, their paychecks go with them to Maryland and Virginia.
These educators don’t have to worry about whether Jose and Keisha have learned a doggone thing. After all, they aren’t neighbors, and they don’t have to fret about whether their own children will mix with the wrong, uneducated crowd.
Mr. Orange’s legislation is important for another reason, too.
Holier-than-thou types generally don’t like measures such as this, and I’m not referring to truly good Samaritans.
I mean the safety-net advocates who cry a river about lost revenue every time phrases like “tax cut,” “tax credit,” “tax break” or “tax relief” are embedded in a piece of legislation.
It’s OK for poverty pimps to make a name for themselves for the sake of poor people. But ask them to support a measure that gives a break to folks whose income is above the poverty line, and they act as though they are being gagged by a silver spoon engraved with Queen Elizabeth’s family crest.
Take the very liberal D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) by way of example.
In 2005, when the city first embraced legislation that would grant a tax break for D.C. teachers, DCFPI’s Ed Lazere raised both eyebrows.
First he questioned why nurses, librarians and the like weren’t receiving special treatment, too.
Then he questioned whether pocketbook issues were the real reason more teachers live in other jurisdictions.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
- SIMMONS: A season to be jolly all around the world
- SIMMONS: A little girl's life shows scars of domestic violence
- SIMMONS: Pictures of Obama and 'Dane' lady don't lie
- SIMMONS: Mandela: May the man of many roles rest in peace
- SIMMONS: Obama visits Southeast D.C. with minimum wage on his mind
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Calling prison term disparities unfair, Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Paul Rondeau exposes the propaganda, media tricks, and government policies that undermine our families, faith, freedom…and even life itself
Implement these actionable tips, how-to’s and best practices in 10 minutes or less to leverage online communications and technology for brand, business and career development.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow