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Stymied in his 1999 effort to slash corporate income taxes to 6.5 percent, the District’s most fervent tax-cutter has turned his attention to the high-tech sector. In the package of 11 tax incentives At-Large Republican D.C. Councilmember David Catania designed to lure the politically popular industry to D.C., one measure would positively vaporize income taxes for tech firms, lowering the rate from 9.975 percent to a flat 6 percent—and to zero in certain designated high-tech zones. Unfortunately, as a participant in a planning session convened by Catania himself noted, the scheme owes more to traditional GOP politics than to the actual economic needs of the new economy. “Income-tax issues are

not a big deal for most start-ups because most don’t have income—they have losses,” noted a venture capitalist who attended the June 29 New E-Conomy Advisory Group meeting. “They don’t even have revenues. The notion that they need income-tax relief is laughable.” —Garance Franke-Ruta