By mbolton | April 23, 2015
On April 23, 2013, DC residents raised their voices and demanded control of their local tax dollars. 83% of DC voters supported Referendum 8, which gave DC control of its own local tax dollars, freeing it from Congressional delays.
Now, two years later, due to non-binding commentary from Congress and local infighting, DC still doesn’t have local budget control. We continue to be at the mercy of opportunistic national politicians who use the budget process to force their personal opinions on DC residents.
The absurdity of Congress controlling DC’s local tax dollars is not lost on people across the country. 78% of Americans believe that the District should have control of its own tax dollars. Still, we are stuck toiling under congressional control as lawmakers arrogantly declare they are prepared to use the “power of the purse” to punish DC residents for passing legislation they disagree with.
There is still hope for local budget control. Mayor Bowser has declared her support, and petitioned the courts to dismiss the case currently blocking DC from implementing the local law. While the local fight for budget autonomy continues, there is also an opportunity on Capitol Hill. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) reintroduced H.R. 552, the District of Columbia Budget Autonomy Act, which would end the fighting and grant DC budget freedom.
If we ever expect budget control we need more supporters across the country to take action. Contact your member of Congress and tell them to sign on to H.R 552 to give local DC residents control of local tax dollars.