Smacks Forehead in Disbelief

Over the years, I’ve often found myself enlightening various tourists and relatives about D.C.’s voting rights issue and the varied arguments over the “last colony” status of the District. It never surprises me that most people from outside the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area have no idea about D.C. residents’ disenfranchisement, and that they usually assume we carry on like lucky residents of Puerto Rico or Guam, not having to pay federal income taxes as a result of our “special status.” When I inform them otherwise, they’re usually surprised and think it unfair. So imagine my surprise reading this gem today on the Washington Post’s discussion about yesterday’s House bill result:

College Park, Md.: The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. So says the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

If D.C. gets full voting rights like the other states, then won’t they have to start paying federal income taxes?

Mary Beth Sheridan: D.C. residents already pay full federal income taxes.

This isn’t a tourist or an out-of-towner. This is a Maryland resident in a close-in college town on the Red Line. Shocking? Ignorant? Just amazingly uninformed? An area newbie? I have no idea, but I practically spat out my afternoon mocha upon reading it.

UPDATE: The irony of my saying College Park is on the Red Line. Oh, the horrible irony. Green Line, Green. My own line too. It’s humble pie tonight!

5 Comments so far

  1. joann Landers (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

    Do some College students living in D. C. attend for free?

    DC-CAP ?

  2. Jenn L (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

    Hi Joann, here’s what I’ve been able to find.

    DC CAP, or District of Columbia College Access Program, is a non-profit organization that provides college application counseling and financial assistance to DC HS kids – they have a scholarship program called “Last Dollar” – but it’s not a government program, it’s made up of private companies and foundations and it doesn’t look like it foots the entire bill.

    You may also be thinking of the DC TAG program – whch helps fund the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition for DC HS graduates who have lived in DC for 12 months prior to graduating. It’s up to $10,000 per year for five years for public schools and $2,500 for private.

  3. Hy Hy (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 5:18 pm

    College Park’s on the Green Line.

    Just sayin’.

  4. Jenn L (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 5:23 pm

    Good grief. Of course it is. I must’ve been seeing Red to have made that stupid a mistake. Ack.

  5. joann Landers (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

    Thanks for the info.

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