D.C. Council Tax Debate Breeds Tension | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

D.C. Council Tax Debate Breeds Tension

Play associated audio
Members of the D.C. Council didn't pull many punches during yesterday's debate over raising the city's income tax for its wealthiest residents.
Members of the D.C. Council didn't pull many punches during yesterday's debate over raising the city's income tax for its wealthiest residents.

If laws are like sausages -- a food not pretty to watch being made -- then Tuesday's council debate over raising the city's income tax for residents earning more than $350,000 was a guided tour through the sausage factory.

The measure ultimately passed, but the contention over the bill started with the council breakfast, which, as Council member Phil Mendelson notes, served up a few insults and profanities to go along with the food. "I think there some remarks that were inappropriately personal," Mendelson said after the council meeting. 

Later, there was the long and heated debate over tax increases, which at times veered off into the surreal, like when Vincent Orange offered this suggestion. 

"This is bad and what I say is 'tear it up,'" said Orange, who proceeded to rip up the proposal on the dais. 

The three-hour debate didn't exactly follow Robert's Rules of Order, as council members at times were speaking over each other. But the income tax issue helped expose some of the strong philosophical differences on the council.

Council member Harry Thomas was a supporter: "This is a city of the haves and the have-nots, let's not fool ourselves," he said.

David Catania was not: "This is lazy government, this ideologically driven, this is vendetta driven by those who want nothing more than to say we raised taxes."

In the end, it was close. The council voted 7-6 in favor of the increase, but council members decided to add a sunset clause so they can revisit the issue in four years.

NPR

Comedian Andrea Martin: 'I Don't Think Age Has Anything To Do With It'

Now in her late 60s, Martin says she's still "excited and enthusiastic" about her work and doesn't have any intention of retiring. She published a memoir in September called Lady Parts.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

Facebook Finds That Not All Users Want To Review Their Year

The social media giant's "Year in Review" app has upset some who prefer to forget 2014's unpleasant memories.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.