Lobbying Norton to Save D.C. From Income Tax
Posted at 4:49 p.m. on June 10, 2013
Updated 5:35 p.m. | Capitol Hill resident and repeat shadow Senate candidate Nelson Rimensnyder wants his fellow denizens to know they’re being hosed by the federal government. And he’s hoping to recruit Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., to carry that message forward in Congress.
Rimensnyder will kick off his latest push to secure D.C. voting rights at noon Saturday at the Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Ave. NW) via a meeting outlining his position that District residents should be exempt from federal income taxes.
His rallying cry is that D.C. should be considered the same as Puerto Rico and other tax-exempt U.S. territories — at least until it receives a vote in Congress.
“They don’t require them to pay federal income taxes,” Rimensnyder said of his take on government-sponsored disenfranchisement. “It’s only fair.”
He plans to petition Norton to reintroduce her No Taxation Without Representation Act, a proposal that went nowhere in the previous decade. Conservative firebrand Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, has prescribed a similar solution, but that, too, has failed to gain much traction.
“There’s bipartisan support for it,” Rimensnyder argues, pointing to the previous efforts as proof of concept. Regardless, he’s not giving up without a fight.
“I’ve talked to her whenever I see her. She’s a neighbor … and she knows this is my issue,” he assured HOH of his dedication to seeing this through, adding, “Every time I get a thousand signatures, I’ll turn ‘em in to her.”
Meanwhile, he plans to build his case by speaking to a Ward 8 group later this month. And he’s been chatting with the D.C. Republican Party, too.
“I would like to have a couple of events a week,” he said.
Update 5:35 p.m.
A Norton aide threw cold water on the campaign.
“The congresswoman has already tested the idea of exempting the District from federal income taxes and has found very little support in the House and even less in the city,” Norton spokesman Daniel van Hoogstraten said, assuring HOH that recycling her earlier bill is a nonstarter.
Per her office, Norton now opposes such a move out of fear that shortchanging the taxman would threaten the federal funding that helps fill city coffers.
“As a territory, the city would almost surely have to raise local taxes in order to pay for many benefits and services that the federal government now provides,” van Hoogstraten said, adding, “In our experience, what support there is for a no-federal-taxes solution evaporates when all the facts are understood.”