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12/21/2005



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

D.C. proposes dedicated sales tax for WMATA


Yesterday, several District of Columbia councilmen introduced legislation that would dedicate a half percent of the district’s existing sales tax to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) coffers.

The sales tax revenue would provide about $50 million annually for the authority. The bill is contingent on the states of Maryland and Virginia dedicating an equivalent portion of their sales tax to WMATA and Congress providing federal grants. The House Government Reform Committee recently proposed legislation that would provide $1.5 billion for the authority.

In January, a panel sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Greater Washington Board of Trade and Federal City Council published a report recommending WMATA obtain a dedicated funding source, preferably in the form of a regional sales tax.

“The current federal, state and local contributions to Metro are insufficient to meet the demands of an ever growing number of riders and an aging transit system,” said WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard White in a prepared statement.


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