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Proponents of a D.C. commuter tax are looking to the Supreme Court to save their proposal. The D.C. government, along with individual taxpayers, filed suit against the federal government in 2003, claiming the District is the only jurisdiction in the country that is not allowed to tax nonresidents who work in the city, costing the District between $530 million and $1.4 billion in tax revenue each year. But judges at both the federal trial and appellate levels threw out the case, finding the ban to be constitutional. Last week, Washington filed a petition for cert with the high court. It is an issue that goes right to the heart of the Constitution, says Walter Smith, executive director of the D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs. “The suit asks questions that ought to be asked,” Smith says, “so I am hoping the Court will hear the case.”
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

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