City leaders are wrestling with a budget shortfall, just like everyone else in the country, and are wary of raising taxes because the city already has a reputation for being a high-tax area. While I will observe that David Alpert is right, and there are many good opportunities to raise revenue by pricing negative externalities in the city appropriately (especially parking), it remains the case that the District is prevented by the federal government from raising revenues in other ways open to every state in the union. The city can’t tax income earned in the District by residents of other states. It can’t toll key bridges heading into the city. It can’t levy anything like a commuter tax to help pay for the upkeep of infrastructure used daily by hundreds of thousands of suburbanites who work in the city. The fed won’t allow it.
The city has a reputation for being a high tax area, but we really ought to be known for being abused by a government in which we have no voting representation.