Glad To Be Commuting In Virginia

I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., area for more than 17 years now and have commuted from Northern Virginia into the city all of that time except the last few months. I love my new commute to Alexandria, Va., much better for various reasons.

Add to the list the perpetual threat of a “commuter tax” being imposed by the District of Columbia. The idea — one of the most economically foolhardy ideas envisioned by bureaucrats who somehow always manage to best themselves in that area — has been floated for longer than I’ve been in the area, and its fans will never stop fighting for the tax.

They’re not above imposing a commuter tax by subterfuge, either:

The recent clean air bill introduced by D.C. Council members Jim Graham and Phil Mendelson should be called what it really is: a proposal for a de facto commuter tax.

The “Department of Transportation Clean Air Compliance Fee Act of 2008” would impose a fee on all employee parking spaces that do not “generate sales and use tax directed to the District Department of Transportation Unified Fund.”

If enacted, the bill would require businesses to pay $25 per month per parking space in which an employee parks a motor vehicle at least two days per week whether or not those spaces are identified as or even reserved for employees. And although the fee is technically imposed on the landowner, the bill allows the fee to be passed on to whomever uses the spaces — the commuters.


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