Think tanks say Metro sales tax would disproportionately affect the poor

Photo credit: CNN

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three think tanks operated out of Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., respectively, have published a joint report opposing a proposed sales tax that would benefit Metro.

The sales tax would be an additional penny per dollar in the two states and the District, and be used to help fund WMATA. Virginia residents and leaders have met this proposal with some opposition, due to the high amount of sales that take place in the state as well as a Republican-led general assembly that prefers to keep taxes low.

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Maryland Center on Economic Policy, and Virginia’s Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis have another objection: they say the impact of the tax would be “five times greater for the lowest-income families in the region”.

The think tanks say this conclusion largely rests on the theory that households living on smaller incomes often have to spend more of their money on taxable items, which would drive up their share of the sales tax burden.

Governor McAuliffe, Governor Hogan and Mayor Bowser will represent their respective areas of the DMV tomorrow at a regional summit. The Metro is an expected talking point.