Friday, May 19, 2006

Giving DC The Vote

Maybe this time ?

For the umpteenth time Congress is considering giving the residents of Washington DC (my fulltime home of the last 8 years) a voice in Congress. It should be noted that DC residents pay federal income tax and state income tax (alot) but do not have a voice in Congress. Yesterday there was a bill in the House of Representatives to change this taxation without representation.

DC is one of a kind. Most of the buildings are government or not-for-profit owned (the feds, world bank, red cross, george washington university etc) so these cats dont pay real-estate tax. But then again the DC government also gets a big fiscal transfer from the federal government each year (the details of this are overly complex like most things governmental) to cover the cost of having the federal government located here.

So its complicated. But it does seem unfair that DC residents (not much more than 500,000 of us in total) do not have a vote in Congress. Maybe this will change now. Of course when politics are involved politics are involved. The national government is now Republican-controlled, and DC is 90% Democrat so its an uphill battle. More analysis than a blog entry is required to determine the best management of the Nations' Capital (eg how much should Uncle Sam pay the locals for its burdensome presence) but a vote in Congress for such things as war and federal tax rates is a start.