Gray: D.C. residents paid $3.6B in federal taxes last year
The tally is in, and D.C. residents shelled out $3.6 billion in federal taxes last year.
Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) unveiled that number at Tuesday's council meeting to highlight the District's lack of voting rights in Congress.
A year ago, just as more than 1 million visitors were preparing to jam the Mall for President Obama's inauguration, city leaders erected an electronic sign in front of the John A. Wilson building on Pennsylvania Avenue to tally D.C. residents' federal tax burden.
In announcing the final sum, Gray said District residents paid $114 in federal taxes per second in 2009.
"I think we would all agree that is a lot money to be disenfranchised the way we are," said Gray, adding, "We will continue our quest."
When they first erected the sign, city leaders were optimistic that 2009 would be the year that the District would secure full voting rights in Congress.
At the time, a bill was moving through Congress that would permanently expand the House of Representatives by two members, one of whom would represent the District. But that bill stalled after gun-rights lobbyists succeeded in attaching an amendment to the bill restricting the District's ability to set its own gun laws.
Still, Gray said he's hopeful that District will get full voting rights soon. Until then, the city will continue to calculate how much its residents pay in federal taxes each year.
"We have paid our dues and now is the time for us to have a full-fledge membership card in the United States of America," Gray said.
-- Tim Craig
January 5, 2010; 11:07 AM ET
Categories: D.C. Council , Tim Craig , Voting Rights
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