It’s a rare thing for the Washington Post editorial board and ATR to agree on matters of public policy; so when it happens, it worth pointing out. Yesterday’s Washington Post included a an editorial arguing that Mayor Fenty and the DC City Council should cut spending and not raise taxes in their effort to close a half a billion dollar deficit.

The WaPo editorial correctly points out that the proposed tax increases on an array of goods and services such as soda, income, sporting event tickets, gym memberships, pre-paid wireless minutes and even vacant property “would place new burdens on Washingtonians while placing the District at a competitive disadvantage with its suburban neighbors.”

While they are correct, it’s too bad they didn’t point this out last year when the DC City Council raised the cigarette tax to a level higher than Maryland’s and well above that of its other neighbor, Virginia. The competitive disadvantage created by that levy hike actually had a negative impact on District coffers. Similarly, while the proposed soda tax won’t improve public health, it will certainly be a boon to VA and MD retailers at the expense of DC businesses. Same goes for the proposed taxes on pre-paid wireless minutes and gym memberships, which won’t resolve the District’s budget woes but will boost the bottom line for cellular retailers and gyms in Maryland and Virginia.

It appears the Washington Post has learned its lesson on the adverse effects of raising taxes, hopefully DC council members have as well. ATR urges Washingtonians to contact their Council member today and urge them to reject calls for higher taxes as they work to complete the budget by the May 27 budget deadline.

Take action today: Simply CLICK HERE to contact your representative on the City Council and make your voice heard!

See below for your Council member's contact information:

Vincent C. Gray, Council Chairman
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8032

David A. Catania, Councilmember (At-Large)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-7772

Phil Mendelson, Councilmember (At-Large)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8064

Kwame R. Brown, Councilmember (At-Large)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8174

Michael A. Brown, Councilmember (At-Large)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8105

Jim Graham, Councilmember (Ward 1)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8181

Jack Evans, Councilmember (Ward 2)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8058

Mary M. Cheh, Councilmember (Ward 3)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8062

Muriel Bowser, Councilmember (Ward 4)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8052

Harry Thomas, Jr., Councilmember (Ward 5)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8028

Tommy Wells, Councilmember (Ward 6)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8072

Yvette M. Alexander, Councilmember (Ward 7)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8068

Marion Barry, Councilmember (Ward 8)
[email protected]
Tel:  (202) 724-8045