District Digest: Week of 3/13/19

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Iconic home goods store, Home Rule, on 14th Street is set to close at the end of the month. Photo credit: Kate Michael

Home Rule closing

After 20 years on 14th Street NW, Home Rule, a popular home goods store that was one of the first businesses to renovate a building on 14th after the riots of 1968, will close.  Home Rule was also the founder of Dog Days, a neighborhood sidewalk sale that has grown to be one of the largest community events in the area.  The last day of closeout sales will be March 31st.

Apple store in historic Carnegie Library to open late Spring

Building owner Events DC confirms that construction is nearing completion on the Apple store, which is opening at the historic Carnegie Library.  The flagship Apple store — complete with “Genius Grove” — may be set to open as soon as April.

Health special enrollment period granted as a result of tax penalty surprises

District residents just finding out that they are subject to a tax penalty because they do not have health insurance in 2019 now have an additional 60 day Special Enrollment Period to get themselves covered. A new District of Columbia law went into effect January 1, 2019 requiring residents to have health insurance, get an exemption, or pay a penalty on their DC taxes.  Some DC residents are learning about this individual responsibility requirement for the first time as they file their 2018 tax returns. 

The tax penalty is based on the number of months an individual or family goes without health coverage. For someone who goes without coverage for a full year, the penalty is: $695 for each adult and $347.50 for each child, up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of family income that is over the federal tax filing threshold, whichever is greater.

If an uninsured resident contacts DC Health Link before they file their 2018 taxes, the 60-day SEP starts the day the individual contacts DC Health Link. If an uninsured resident contacts DC Health Link after they file, the SEP starts the date they filed their 2018 taxes. DC residents eligible for Medicaid are not subject to the tax penalty.

An Amazon grocery – not Whole Foods – may be coming to DC

Since its acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon has expanded several supermarket services, adding Prime discounts and delivery at Whole Foods and launching a line of cashierless Amazon Go stores. Now Amazon plans to launch its own grocery store.

The store may have a location in Los Angeles this year, with locations in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia to follow.

Unlike Whole Foods, these new stores will offer low prices and a wider variety of different brands and products, positioning Amazon to compete with other grocery chains.  No word on whether or not the stores will be cashierless.