FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Patrick Mara
April 3, 2015

DC GOP to Mayor: Don’t Increase Sales Tax Rate
WASHINGTON – Today the DC Republican Party issued the following statement regarding an April 3, 2015, news report in the Washington Post titled, “D.C.Mayor Proposes Tax Increases to Confront Homeless Crisis, Metro Woes.” The article details Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s (D) intention to increase the city’s sales tax from 5.75 percent to 6 percent.

DC Republican Party Chairman, José Cunningham, said, “Somebody needs to put up a fight against DC tax increases and the Republican Party is happy to step into the ring. While a sales tax increase may be a seemingly minor issue for those who are economically middle class and above, even the slightest increase in taxes can have a huge impact on lower middle class and working poor families. It is unfortunate that the Mayor now must resort to increasing costs for anyone making a purchase in the District. Why can’t she find alternate funding in a nearly $13 billion budget? This tax proposal disproportionately impacts DC residents. Per capita, the occupants of the Wilson Building have already spent more than they can afford.”

According to the Tax Policy Center, only Alaska exceeds the District of Columbia in spending when compared to all 50 states. Noting the massive per capita spending driven by natural resources in the 49th state, Cunningham stated, “Alaskans receive an annual payout from the state known as the Permanent Dividend Fund”. DC GOP Executive Director, Patrick Mara said, “Here in DC our permanent dividend is monthly consideration of tax and fee increases by our elected leaders.”

Cunningham noted, “Unfortunately, our city government is easily influenced by special interests such as the DC Fiscal Policy Institute,” an organization identified in the April 3 WaPo article by Aaron C. Davis. “This sales tax increase shines light on these self-proclaimed progressives who promote regressive tax policies on an almost daily basis and in virtually all of their reports.”

“The reality is that so-called progressive tax and economic policies are merely driving lower middle class and working poor residents out of the District. Here in Columbia Heights, all I need to do is walk out my front door and I see a pretty substantial increase in brand new middle and upper middle income folks who might have no problem absorbing an increase in sales tax. It’s not their problem,” Mara continued. “Many of my longtime neighbors of more than a decade moved away due to increased living costs. While we may be slightly lower than neighboring jurisdictions in sales tax rates, this is not a competition to see who can tax the most. I hope the mayor puts the brakes on any thought of a sales tax increase. In the end, such an increase in sales tax would mean our elected leaders have more ‘revenue’ to spend on their pet projects and added taxpayer cash to dole out for their most favored contractor friends and campaign contributors. Political favors will be handed out, yet homelessness will persist.”

For further information or comments, contact Patrick Mara at Patrick.Mara@dcgop.com.

The DC Republican Party is made up of registered Republicans living throughout the District of Columbia in all eight wards who are nominated and elected to serve as members of the central committee.

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