There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Your article “Virginia Is for Sluggers” (5/2) takes the usual attitude that suburbanites shortchange the District. It does so with the usual lack of proof.
The data on the taxes that Maryland and Virginia collect from commuters are at best conditionally relevant. Those data do not indicate the amount that the District collects in business taxes, the cost of the services that the District provides to commuters, or the cost of the residential services (such as public schools) that commuters receive from their home localities, thus sparing the District from having to provide them.
The well-documented general rule is that businesses pay more in taxes than they receive in public services, while the reverse is true for residents. Advocates of a commuter tax insist on believing the exact opposite, as though localities did not tax businesses and operated public schools at no cost.
With regard to federal workers, your position is stronger, but not much stronger. When the District won the Department of Homeland Security from Virginia, District boosters calculated the amount that the District would gain from hosting the headquarters. Should advocates of a commuter tax not have been able to disprove the gain and calculate the amount of loss instead?