The debate was loud, and it found some odd bedfellows, but the DC Council yesterday passed an income tax increase on those residents earning more than $350,000 per year, increasing the taxation rate on dollars earned after the 350,000th to 8.95% from 8.5%. The move is expected to increase revenues by about $100M over four years.
The increase, initially partnered with a removal of the controversial bond tax but later separated from it, represents a pretty significant defeat for Council Chair Kwame Brown, who was seeking to repeal the bond tax and prevent an income tax increase. Yesterday also marked an odd political alliance between Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) who found themselves both opposing a tax increase. Evans because he didn’t want to see wealthy residents squeezed, and Barry because he doesn’t believe in paying taxes at all.
The good news, though, is that there’s a four-year sunset provision added to the tax, courtesy of Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) who fought hard to make sure this is a temporary measure that will need addition council battles in the future to extend.
How contentious was the debate? The Washington Post felt it was appropriate to include the swearing that happened related to the increase in their coverage. There are now three people, according to columnist Mike DeBonis, who have been granted the right to say fuck or shit on those august pages, and they are Jack Evans, Phil Mendelson, and Dick Cheney.
When will swearing privileges be extended to minorities and women, I ask you, Mr. Ombudsman?