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Salary Tax On D.C. Commuters Sparks Controversy

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One lawmaker is proposing a tax on Maryland and Virginia residents who make their income in the District.
One lawmaker is proposing a tax on Maryland and Virginia residents who make their income in the District.

Washington, D.C. officials are usually allies with Democrats in Virginia and Maryland. But talk of taxing workers who make their income in the District but live in the surrounding suburbs is sparking some intense words between the two sides.

The idea was rekindled after House oversight chairman Darrell Issa brought it up in a recent hearing on D.C. Some Maryland and Virginia Democrats say if it were to pass they would try to move federal agencies out of D.C.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) says D.C. doesn't need the extra revenue.

"The federal government supports the District of Columbia in many ways through the budget, and that federal payment and support is designed to help the District of Columbia, and it does," he says.

D.C. officials have long sought the extra revenue from a commuter tax, but in 2005, a federal court ruled they'd need congressional approval to do it. And without the support of local Democrats it's unlikely to happen.


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