D.C. Raids “Dedicated” Ballpark Tax

June 3, 2010

In 2005, the District of Columbia set up a gross receipts tax on larger businesses to pay for the new $611 million Nationals ballpark. The Washington Examiner calculates that the city has collected $135 million in taxes and rent above its payments on the ballpark’s bonds. Rather than reduce the “dedicated” tax, they’re raiding the money for the rest of the budget:

If the gross receipts tax were used to pay down the stadium debt, the ballpark’s bonds could be paid off in nearly half of the 30 years it was supposed to take, [D.C. Council member Jack] Evans said.

Ed Lazere, an analyst at the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, said he understood businesses’ anger over the tax, but he said that the recession means everyone has to chip in.

“It’s reasonable in the middle of an economic downturn to look at every revenue source that we can,” he said.

Councilman David Catania, I-At Large, said, “my hope is we’ll raid this revenue only so long as we need to.”

More on D.C. here.

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