Letter to the Editor: Council erred with inheritance tax cut

The John A. Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW holds the offices for the mayor and D.C. Council. (photo courtesy of Josh Gibson)

The District’s millionaires are laughing all the way to the bank.

Did you know that the D.C. Council just gave them a special tax break? In this year’s budget, members voted to keep an inheritance tax cut that will raise the floor from $2 million to $5.45 million, giving a few dozen of the city’s wealthiest residents a huge tax break at the expense of poor families and children. This was a horrible mistake, and one that makes me question exactly whom our city government is fighting for.

I am doing well in the District. But many of my neighbors are not sharing in our city’s growing prosperity. The council had a clear choice: support critical services that promote wide-based prosperity, or promote dynastic wealth and increasing inequality. The D.C. Council chose the latter.

It’s past time that the D.C. Council stopped working for powerful special interests and started working for all of us, so that all kids have good schools, all families have decent and affordable housing, and everyone has access to health care. The council threw away our best shot at making that happen.

Those of us not interested in tax cuts for millionaires need to hold our elected leaders accountable, especially so-called “progressives” like Council members Robert White and Charles Allen, who voted to make our city more unequal.

And in case the nine council members who voted “yes” are wondering: Inheritance taxes will never be the reason that I stay or leave the District. But lousy public schools? When I have kids, that’ll definitely do it.

Samantha Waxman, Bloomingdale