On March 5, 2019, the D.C. Policy Center’s article, Tax practices that amplify racial inequities: Property tax treatment of owner-occupied housing, was cited by The DC Line:
Evans, a supporter of increasing the homestead deduction, concurred with Todd that the move would benefit the middle class. He said Mendelson recognized that there weren’t enough votes to pass the bill, necessitating the referral back to his committee. “A number of people have ideas about how to make it a better bill,” he said. “Maybe there’s a compromise.”
Todd’s legislation is identical to a bill introduced in 2017 that never came up for a full vote. The bill passed the Committee on Finance and Revenue with a vote of 4-1 on Feb 13. At-large Council member Elissa Silverman was the lone dissenter.
Silverman pointed to a report last October from the DC Policy Center, a research arm of the pro-business Federal City Council, that said such tax breaks for homeowners worsen racial disparities, with residents of certain fast-appreciating neighborhoods getting the most value from the deduction and the city’s property tax cap for owner-occupied homes. “I’m fearful that what this approach would do is actually be contradictory to one of our stated goals as a council, which is to create more racial equity in our city,” Silverman said during the committee debate.