Dear Councilmember Bowser, Please Raise Our Taxes

Dear Councilmember Bowser,

My wife and I are relatively new constituents of yours in Ward 4, having recently moved from Logan Circle to the 1300 block of Quincy Street. We have watched with consternation as the city has struggled to balance the budget through these difficult times. As the former ANC Commissioner for 2F03, I understand the importance of maintaining a low tax rate in order for the District to effectively compete with surrounding jurisdictions for businesses and residences. At the same time, however, I am deeply concerned that the cuts potentially on the table in the areas of public safety, economic development, and transportation will have a severe negative impact on the long-term competitiveness of the District. Though we are all tightening our belts, I believe that reduced funding and delays on such important initiatives as street cars, MPD, and education will leave us in a poorer position to rebound as the economy regains strength.

Like many Washingtonians, Heather and I have been fortunate through this downturn. Many of our fellow citizens have been less so. It is unfair to burden with additional expenses those who can least afford it, but Heather and I certainly can. And so we ask you and your fellow Councilmembers: Please raise our taxes.

Please raise our taxes and use the money to maintain funding for important work like additional police, street cars, multi-mode transportation initiatives, and economic development. In particular we are in full support of a small, graduated increase such as that proposed today by your colleague Councilmember Wells on the Greater Greater Washington blog.  Such an increase will not unduly burden our family, nor will it completely eliminate the gap, but it will go a long way to making ends meet for our city.  And that is a sacrifice any Washingtonian in our position must be willing to make.

With kind regards, Brian & Heather Vargas