Is it time to kill the mortgage interest
tax deduction?
Maine tax reform vote June 8

Expanded use of D.C. ballpark tax

There's been a lot of talk so far in this young major league baseball season about perfect games, including the one that got away in Detroit.

But while fewer folks were looking, and without the luxury of repeated replays, we've also seen the perfect ballpark tax.

That apparently is what Washington, D.C., has.

Five years ago,the D.C. Council enacted a citywide business tax to help to help pay $611 million to build the new Washington Nationals ballpark. 

Now, however, the revenue is not being used to pay off the stadium.


Instead of putting the excess "dedicated" tax money toward paying off the bonds early and thereby ending the need for the tax, the Washington Examiner reports that city officials are using the money to cover the rest of the District's budget items.

So far, says the newspaper, the nation's capital has collected $135 million in taxes and rent above its payments on the ballpark's bonds. If the gross receipts tax money was used as designed to pay down the stadium debt, the ballpark's bonds could be paid off in nearly half of the original 30 year term.

But that's apparently not to be. 

"It's reasonable in the middle of an economic downturn to look at every revenue source that we can," said Ed Lazere, an analyst at the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute.

Councilman David Catania (I-At Large) told the newspaper, "my hope is we'll raid this revenue only so long as we need to."

I find it interesting that the councilman chose to use the word "raid."

And I also suspect that "so long as we need to" is going to be for as long as the D.C. Council can get away with it.

Related posts:

Want to tell your friends about this blog post? Click the Tweet This or Digg This buttons below or use the Share This icon to spread the word via e-mail, Facebook and other popular applications. Thanks!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.