Letter to the Editor: Businesses, landlords near Metro should pay more

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The Dupont Circle Metro station is a busy Red Line stop. (Susann Shin/The Current/April 2017)

In his Sept. 20 Viewpoint, David Schwartzman favors raising D.C. income taxes so that “those profiting most from Metro pay their fair share.” He then refers specifically to “those with larger businesses and wealthy residents.”

But they are not, as a category, those profiting most from Metro. That would be the business and residential landlords whose properties are near Metrorail stations.

As in New York, many landlords have chosen to invest in buildings or vacant property near existing or planned stations. They clearly profit by being able to charge higher rents and enjoy better transportation for their employees.

Taxing them to raise funds for Metro is so obvious that this option, which I saw mentioned at least once, must have been passed over because of the financial/political power of the landlords.

Let’s have a public discussion of that option, as opposed to a general sales tax or an income tax increase.

Bob Hausman, Washington, D.C.