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Norton Wants Congress To Reinstate Federal Tax Credits For D.C.

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Some tax credits for residents and businesses in the District quietly lapsed in 2011. Now, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is fighting to bring them back.

First-time home buyers in D.C. used to get a $5,000 federal tax credit. Not anymore. Businesses in distressed areas also were eligible for federal help before the tax credits expired. Norton says once again under-representation in Congress hurt the District's priorities.

"I think there's only one reason why: we didn't have a senator. The senators got all of their ducks in a row. We don't have anybody over there to pull for us when those inner workings are going on behind closed doors," she says.

Those tax credits have been used to transform places like NoMa and the Capitol Riverfront. Norton says that now other parts of the city need that same assistance.

"Now we're ready for that same work to be done on the eastern part of the city, in wards 7 and 8. And I think I'll be able to convince the Congress that you don't leave out the nation's capital.," she says.

The tax credits were first introduced in the late 1990s with Republican support when the city was bleeding population. Advocates say the tax credits helped turn parts of the city into the economic hubs they are today.

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