D.C. Council Chooses Commercial Property Tax Breaks Over Homeless Funding

Carolyn Gallaher, an associate professor at American University, makes the case for local political leadership to better support Washington, D.C.'s homeless population. The D.C. Council has been focusing its resources elsewhere.

1 minute read

December 13, 2018, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Washington D.C. Stores

Ted Eytan / Flickr

"On December 4, the DC Council moved to divert an estimated $20 million in new tax funds it had pledged for homeless programs to instead reduce the property tax rate for commercial entities valued at $10 million or more," reports Carolyn Gallahar.

The tax money comes from the District's new Internet Sales Tax, which followed a twisted road to adoption that included a 2013 Budget Act, a June Supreme Court decision, and a final concession to commercial interests "unhappy with an earlier tax hike on commercial properties," according to Gallahar.

Gallahar's opinion on the council's decision is made clear, mimicking an opinion piece by Ed Lazere and Scott Schenkelberg from late November.

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