The District Dime’s New Year’s Wish List: Part 1
Happy New Year District Dime readers!
Like many of you, we here at the District Dime also have some resolutions for the New Year — which we plan to keep, of course — and some wishes as well. This week we will discuss a variety of budget-related developments that we would like to see transpire in 2012 to ensure that the District remains an attractive place to live and work.
Our first wish for the New Year is for the success of the Tax Review Commission.
What is the Tax Revision Commission?
The Tax Revision Commission was authorized by the DC Council last year and given 9 months to study and make recommendations for changes to DC’s tax system. It will be made up of 11 members, including five appointed by the mayor, five appointed by the DC Council, and one from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.
What is the status of the Tax Revision Commission?
Although money was set aside in the FY2012 budget to fund the commission, it has yet to get up and running, as both the Mayor and the DC Council continue to deliberate on their choices for commissioners. We agree that it is important to get the selection of commissioners right, which is why it is good that he commission legislation calls for 6 of the 11 members to be tax experts.
However, we also believe that it is important for the commission to get rolling sooner, rather than later. DC’s economy has changed substantially since the last commission in 1998, while many of DC’s taxes have not kept up with these changes. For example DC’s property tax credit for low-income residents has problems that result in very few residents claiming it, the standard deduction in the income tax has not kept pace with inflation, and the sales tax has not been modernized to reflect the changing spending patterns of consumers, who spend much more money now on services than in the past.
Our wish today is that the next time we write about the Tax Revision Commission, we will be able to comment on its progress and its ultimate success.
Check back in with the District Dime the rest of this week to see what else is on our wish list for this 2012.