Tax Testbed?

dirksen.png I’m sure it was a great idea when they thought of it. I’m sure he means well. I’m sure he thinks he’s doing his part in the Capitol, working hard for his constituents. But really, is making DC into a tax testbed a good idea? That’s what Sen. Sam Brownback aims to do this week in hearings on The Hill. We’ve weighed in before on this subject, but this time it seems to actually be coming before Congress in a meaningful way.

You can email Senator Brownback if you have particularly strong opinions, one way or the other, but he’s really only accountable to his own constituents, highlighting one of the more bizarre dichotomies of DC. Sure, Congress makes decisions that affect DC, but no one who actually lives there can vote on the subject. If you’re interested in seeing the hearing, it’s being held at 2pm on Wednesday in “SD-124” which I would interpret as the Senate Dirksen office building, room 124. If I’m decoding that wrong, do let me know.

The problem here, according to many, is that the differing scales are unfair to District residents, and treating the Federal City as a guinea pig. I’m of the opinion that it will be cheaper and more effective to just do a test case with a full state’s income tax returns under a flat tax system to demonstrate the effectiveness of the idea behind the new system, rather than an actual case which might cost District residents a bunch more money, and cause mass confusion the likes of which even H&R Block or Jackson Hewitt might have trouble untangling.

But that could just be me. What do you make of the DC Flat Tax idea?

1 Comment so far

  1. Tiff (unregistered) on March 6th, 2006 @ 9:41 am

    While I’m fairly intrigued by the idea of a flat tax generally, it seems pretty shitty to use the District as the guinea pig- that whole “no taxation without representation” thing. It occurs to me that if we’re going to deny DC meaningful federal representation, we could at least exempt its residents from the federal income tax, no? It’s a compromise that has made Puerto Rico relatively content.

    But even if it weren’t for that issue, DC makes the worst possible test case for the flat tax- it’s uniquely too easy to move into and out of while still keeping your job, making its economic or revenue benefits difficult to replicate in other areas that don’t have the unique makeup of tax jurisdictions that the DC area has.

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