- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

D.C. Council member Jack Evans introduced a bill on Tuesday to repeal a new tax on out-of-state municipal bonds held by District residents, potentially reversing a revenue generator that prompted hours of debate in last year’s in budget talks.

Mr. Evans, Ward 2 Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Finance and Revenue, said he is getting a litany of calls from confused residents and accountants who cannot keep track of what should be taxed.

Council members decided to tax the interest earned on out-of-state bonds, a common practice across the country, for the first time during discussions about the fiscal year 2012 budget. They made the tax prospective to bonds purchased after Jan. 1 of this year.

But mutual fund managers buy and sell new bonds in the course of business, forfeiting the bondholders’ grandfathered-in status. Overall, the tax “caused enormous confusion and consternation” among the public, Mr. Evans said at the council’s legislative meeting.

At a pre-meeting breakfast, council Chairman Kwame R. Brown told Mr. Evans that he would support the repeal because the bonds tax is a burden on seniors.

Council members Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat, and David Catania, at-large Independent, co-sponsored Mr. Evan’s bill.

A repeal of the tax would cost the District about $2 million, officials said.

“Frankly from my point of view, it’s just not worth it,” Mr. Evans said. “It has just created chaos.”

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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