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Taxation Without Representation

A friend of the blog sent over a link to H.R. 1014 - a piece of legislation introduced a few years and known on the Hill as the ‘No Taxation Without Representation Act’. The bill would treat the District of Columbia as a United States Possession, exempting its citizens from federal income taxes. Even though such legislation would probably never pass in a million years, it leads to an interesting thought experiment about what DC might look like today if it had.

(from Poldavo (Alex) on Flickr)

Washington is already an incredibly desirable city, with some of the highest costs in America, both for living and for doing business. A city except from federal taxes would have been even more attractive, particularly for the rich. The more money you make, the greater the potential savings you can reap by hiding your income from the IRS.

Yesterday, Vincent Gray and members of the DC City Council were arrested while rallying for DC's rights, and they were taken into custody with a giant "Taxation Without Representation" banner in the background. Of course, what they care about isn't so much the taxation side of the coin, it's the representation. A city without taxation might have led to gentrification at a rate that someone like Vince Gray would never be able to tolerate. Fighting for representation is something that everyone, rich or poor, can get behind.


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