TAX REFORM | The House and Senate are currently working to create a tax reform bill that they can agree on. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen nonprofits and philanthropy discuss how this bill will affect them. Now, WAMU has sat down with Len Burman, co-founder of the non-profit Tax Policy Center to discuss how this would affect our region. (WAMU, 12/7)
J.W.[WAMU reporter]: How do you think this bill will affect the three different jurisdictions; D.C., Maryland and Virginia? Obviously, they all treat taxes a little bit differently. Would state officials be under pressure to lower income taxes? How do you think state and local revenue would be affected in these different jurisdictions?
L.B.: The concern is that if state income taxes aren’t deductible any more, high-income people would put pressure on states to cut back on spending and taxes. That could be of particular concern if the federal government cuts back on its own safety net programs and other kinds of spending; the actual effect has never really been tested. It might be that people would say that with lower federal taxes, they’re willing to pay more at the state level, but it’s definitely a concern.
– Although needle exchange programs became legal in Virginia six months ago, the Department of Health is having trouble getting buy-in from law enforcement. (Richmond Times, 12/10)
– Public defenders and advocates push for reform, saying public defenders are overwhelmed with cases and underfunded. (NBC News, 12/11)
HOUSING | Urban planners in DC, Maryland, Virginia, and across the nation are trying to figure out how to build for the “missing middle” – millennials with children and a middle-class income. (WaPo, 12/9)
PHILANTHROPY | Is It Unethical for People to Pass Their Wealth On to Their Children? (Atlantic, 12/10)
EDUCATION | Students from 25 DC middle and high schools participated in a contest where they gave their opinions and solutions on issues affecting them and their communities. Listen to their speeches here. (WAMU, 12/8)
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT | The Supreme Court has agreed to hear Maryland’s redistricting case. (Baltimore Sun, 12/8)
OPINION | Happy Monday readers! We’ve appreciated your reading the Daily WRAG this year. In order to improve your experience, we would like for you to fill out this short survey to let us know what you’ve liked, didn’t like, and what could be better on the blog.
Just have a need to see something destroyed? Try these videos of things being shredded (like couches, for instance)…