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offered objection to the mileage tax; they did not offer any objection to the gasoline tax and, subsequently, after the adjournment of the meeting, the Commissioners withdrew the mileage-tax proposal. The Capital Transit Co., when they offered no opposition to the gasoline tax did not have knowledge of that fact, of the fact that the other tax would be withdrawn.

Mr. BATEs. Fine. Thank you very much, Mr. Harrison.
Mr. HARRISON. Yes, sir.

Mr. BATEs. The reporter will insert at this point an extract from official transcript to public hearing before the District of Columbia Commissioners on the proposed increase in the gas tax, inspection fees, and so forth.

(The information referred to above is as follows:)
Mr. NEBERLE. My statement will be relatively brief, Mr. Commissioner.

In the first place we appear here as one of the large users of gasoline; also one of the largest users of the highways.

We have listened to Captain Whitehurst's statement as to this difficult problem. We have no issue whatever with his figures. It has always been a pleasure to work with the captain, and we have worked with him many times.

The first part of the proposal before us is with respect to the increase in the gasoline tax. During the 12 months ended with September we used 8,000,000and-odd gallons of gasoline, slightly more than 8,000,000. Our use is increasing. Our use was at the low ebb in the 12-month period, along about March of this year. During the last 3 months—that is, July, August, and September—this increase has been at the rate of a million gallons per annum.

Now, that increase will not indefinitely continue, but I would like for the use of gasoline to approximate 10,000,000 gallons, as manpower returns, unless our demand for ridings materially decrease.

The first bracket would cause an increase in the tax cost of Capital Transit Co., on the present basis, of $80,000, and we can readily foresee $90,000 per

We live in the District of Columbia. We are relatively heavy taxpayers. Our taxes to the District of Columbia, of all kinds, amount to about $1,200,000 per

An increase of $80,000 is approximately 7 percent. We have respect for Captain Whitehurst. We know he has a very difficult job. We are not questioning and we offer no opposition to the increase in the gasoline tax, notwithstanding the fact that it does mean a substantial increase in our taxes.

The second item, the increase in the inspection fees, seems to be well justified, and its effect is very small. We have no objection to it.

With respect to the third proposal, as the captain has indicated earlier, we have had an informal conference with him, where I hope we ironed out the minor differences that existed in respect to the taxes per bus that we are now paying.

Mr. BATES. Mr. Harrison, you get me the program that I requested as soon as you can.

Mr. HARRISON. Yes, sir.

Mr. Bates. Because we will in all probability close these hearings tomorrow.

Now the hearing will adjourn to 2 o'clock this afternoon, when we will hear other witnesses who may wish to be present in favor or in opposition to these various types of taxes.

(Whereupon, at 12:15 p. m., the committee adjourned to meet at 2 p. m. the same afternoon.)

annum,

annum.

AFTERNOON SESSION

(The committee reconvened at 2 p. m., at the expiration of the recess.)

mately 1 percent of their income on a 2 percent retail sales tax even where food and medicine are exempt. Findings of our committee disclose that persons of the highest income will pay one-third of 1 percent on their income.

If a sales tax were sound in principle anywhere else it would be unsound in the District of Columbia because of its small area. It will drive business to sales-tax-free communities. It will discourage Maryland citizens from buying here. Maryland knows this as witnessed by the pressure currently being exerted from that quarter to impose a sales tax here.

Honest retail business firms here would become unwilling and unpaid servants and agents of the District government in the collection of the sales tax. It becomes a great burden on retail business, adding to the ultimate costs of business operation. Increased business expense must be borne by the consumer. Thus the sales tax brings into play in retail business the following elements:

1. Decreased sales volume.
2. Increased operating costs.

Superimposed upon these is the 2 percent levy. All reflect higher commodity prices. The purchaser pays these increased costs. If the merchant paid them he would go out of business because he survives only if he makes a profit. The "little people,” including many veterans, who are trying to regain, or make their position substantial in our society cannot do so by such pyramiding, superimposition of taxes.

The proposed sales tax levy would open the door to great fraud. Present levies of Federal excise taxes on certain commodities are being ignored in many quarters in the District.

Prices are quoted, “including tax.” Sales are not reported in other instances and the tax collected is easily pocketed.

Imagine, for instance, what would happen in retail quarters in certain hot, competitive markets of Seventh Street and elsewhere, where there is no misrepresentation to the public except when absolutely convenient. A certain business on G Street has been sued 30 or 40 times in the last 2 or 3 years for refund of customer deposits.

The same business had to be warned by the District Attorney's office for engaging in questionable practices. The same business was defendant in an injunctive proceeding to restrain violations of the Second War Powers Act of 1942. When these circumstances are understood is there any doubt that the sales tax can become a windfall to some of its original collectors?

The tax imposed and collected could easily become a wind fall to the "uncompensated” retail collector. The sales tax and excise taxes when levied are at best furtive and dishonest. The average taxpayer cannot tell how much tax he is paying. He has no way of assuring himself that what he has paid finds its way to the Government Treasury. A sales tax becomes an evil. It beguiles the taxpayer into a false appraisal of his tax bill. It lurks in hidden places. It has been aptly called a liar and a cheat.

The proposed increase of 1 cent per gallon on gasoline is a sales tax. We now pay 412 cents per gallon Federal and District tax. At 20 cents per gallon retail sales price and at 512 cents tax, the additional 1-cent tax proposed represents an increase of 2712 percent in

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offered objection to the mileage tax; they did not offer any objection to the gasoline tax and, subsequently, after the adjournment of the meeting, the Commissioners withdrew the mileage-tax proposal. The Capital Transit Co., when they offered no opposition to the gasoline tax did not have knowledge of that fact, of the fact that the other tax would be withdrawn.

Mr. Bates. Fine. Thank you very much, Mr. Harrison.
Mr. HARRISON. Yes, sir.

Mr. BATEs. The reporter will insert at this point an extract from official transcript to public hearing before the District of Columbia Commissioners on the proposed increase in the gas tax, inspection fees, and so forth.

(The information referred to above is as follows:) Mr. NEBERLE. My statement will be relatively brief, Mr. Commissioner.

In the first place we appear here as one of the large users of gasoline; also one of the largest users of the highways.

We have listened to Captain Whitehurst's statement as to this difficult problem. We have no issue whatever with his figures. It has always been a pleasure to work with the captain, and we have worked with him many times.

The first part of the proposal before us is with respect to the increase in the gasoline tax. During the 12 months ended with September we used 8,000,000and-odd gallons of gasoline, slightly more than 8,000,000. Our use is increasing. Our use was at the low ebb in the 12-month period, along about March of this year. During the last 3 months—that is, July, August, and September—this increase has been at the rate of a million gallons per annum.

Now, that increase will not indefinitely continue, but I would like for the use of gasoline to approximate 10,000,000 gallons, as manpower returns, unless our demand for ridings materially decrease.

The first bracket would cause an increase in the tax cost of Capital Transit Co., on the present basis, of $80,000, and we can readily foresee $90,000 per

We live in the District of Columbia. We are relatively heavy taxpayers. Our taxes to the District of Columbia, of all kinds, amount to about $1,200,000 per annum. An increase of $80,000 is approximately 7 percent.

We have respect for Captain Whitehurst. We know he has a very difficult job. We are not questioning and we offer no opposition to the increase in the gasoline tax, notwithstanding the fact that it does mean a substantial increase in our taxes.

The second item, the increase in the inspection fees, seems to be well justified, and its effect is very small. We have no objection to it.

With respect to the third proposal, as the captain has indicated earlier, we have had an informal conference with him, where I hope we ironed out the minor differences that existed in respect to the taxes per bus that we are now paying.

Mr. BATEs. Mr. Harrison, you get me the program that I requested as soon as you can.

Mr. HARRISON. Yes, sir.

Mr. BATEs. Because we will in all probability close these hearings tomorrow.

Now the hearing will adjourn to 2 o'clock this afternoon, when we will hear other witnesses who may wish to be present in favor or in opposition to these various types of taxes.

(Whereupon, at 12:15 p. m., the committee adjourned to meet at 2 p. m. the same afternoon.)

annum,

AFTERNOON SESSION

(The committee reconvened at 2 p. m., at the expiration of the recess.)

Such large contributions to governmental revenue should entitle the contributors to a voice, not only in whether there is to be an additional tax, but also in the manner in which their tax dollars are spent, in my opinion.

It goes without saying that taxicab drivers are unanimous in voicing a decisive “No," to any further increase in the gasoline tax rates, at this time.

A 1-cent increase would add $300,000 per year to their cost of operation. These men are now working 10 to 12 hours per day to make a living. Many of them are ex-servicemen recently discharged from the armed forces.

As an indication of the pressure under which drivers are already laboring, as a result of the slackened business and increased competition, 31 out of approximately 250 owner-drivers in the Yellow Cab fleet, failed to renew their PUC licenses at the March 31 deadline.

This indicates that that many men, or more than 12 percent, and it is assumed that the percentage will hold true throughout the industry, have decided to seek some other occupation. It also may be seen as a precursor of what may occur as business drops off further during the slower summer months.

Cab drivers, as a rule, are interested more than the average person, not only in the appearance of their city, but also in the condition of its streets and highways, and most of them can understand that it should cost more after the war than it did before to operate the Highway Department.

Most of those with whom I have talked realize that this is true not only as a result of increased material and labor costs but also to catch up with work neglected or slighted during the war years.

But they believe, and I agree, that the present condition of Washington's highways do not call for the excessive funds requested by the Highway Department apparently with the plan of "building Rome in a day,” particularly in view of present inflationary costs, and also particularly in view of the prospective penalty to them at a time when their own incomes are decreasing.

A cab driver, whether he rents his vehicle or owns it outright, is in business for himself and, therefore, may be classed as a businessman, although a small one. His rates are fixed by the Public Utilities Cominission, and he cannot pass along a tax increase to someone else. He is already paying 2.6 cents more per gallon for gas that he did a year ago.

He must bear it himself, and his only recourse, in an effort to break even, is to work longer hours, and longer hours mean possibly more traffic accidents.

In conclusion, I sincerely believe that I can speak for every cab driver in Washington in voicing opposition to the proposed gasoline tax increase.

Mr. BATES. Mr. Keeting, why does he pay today 2.3 cents more a gallon than he did a year ago?

Mr. KEETING. It is 2.6; gas has gone up that much in a year.
Mr. BATES. 2.6 in a year?
Mr. KEETING. Yes, sir; that is the figure they give us.
Mr. BATES. I thought there were two increases.
Mr. KEETING. It was 1 cent just recently; was it not, Mr. Sorrell?
Mr. SORRELL. It was 1 cent just recently.

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offered objection to the mileage tax; they did not offer any objection to the gasoline tax and, subsequently, after the adjournment of the meeting, the Commissioners withdrew the mileage-tax proposal. The Capital Transit Co., when they offered no opposition to the gasoline tax did not have knowledge of that.fact, of the fact that the other tax would be withdrawn.

Mr. Bates. Fine. Thank you very much, Mr. Harrison.
Mr. HARRISON. Yes, sir.

Mr. BATEs. The reporter will insert at this point an extract from official transcript to public hearing before the District of Columbia Commissioners on the proposed increase in the gas tax, inspection fees, and so forth.

(The information referred to above is as follows:)
Mr. NEBERLE. My statement will be relatively brief, Mr. Commissioner.

In the first place we appear here as one of the large users of gasoline; also one of the largest users of the highways.

We have listened to Captain Whitehurst's statement as to this difficult problem. We have no issue whatever with his figures. It has always been a pleasure to work with the captain, and we have worked with him many times.

The first part of the proposal before us is with respect to the increase in the gasoline tax. During the 12 months ended with September we used 8,000,000and-odd gallons of gasoline, slightly more than 8,000,000. Our use is increasing. Our use was at the low ebb in the 12-month period, along about March of this year. During the last 3 months—that is, July, August, and September—this increase has been at the rate of a million gallons per annum.

Now, that increase will not indefinitely continue, but I would like for the use of gasoline to approximate 10,000,000 gallons, as manpower returns, unless our demand for ridings materially decrease.

The first bracket would cause an increase in the tax cost of Capital Transit Co., on the present basis, of $80,000, and we can readily foresee $90,000 per

We live in the District of Columbia. We are relatively heavy taxpayers. Our taxes to the District of Columbia, of all kinds, amount to about $1,200,000 per

An increase of $80,000 is approximately 7 percent. We have respect for Captain Whitehurst. We know he has a very difficult job. We are not questioning and we offer no opposition to the increase in the gasoline tax, notwithstanding the fact that it does mean a substantial increase in our taxes.

The second item, the increase in the inspection fees, seems to be well justified, and its effect is very small. We have no objection to it.

'With respect to the third proposal, as the captain has indicated earlier, we have had an informal conference with him, where I hope we ironed out the minor differences that existed in respect to the taxes per bus that we are now paying.

Mr. BATES. Mr. Harrison, you get me the program that I requested as soon as you can.

Mr. HARRISON. Yes, sir.

Mr. BATEs. Because we will in all probability close these hearings tomorrow.

Now the hearing will adjourn to 2 o'clock this afternoon, when we will hear other witnesses who may wish to be present in favor or in opposition to these various types of taxes.

(Whereupon, at 12:15 p. m., the committee adjourned to meet at 2 p. m. the same afternoon.)

annum,

annum.

AFTERNOON SESSION

(The committee reconvened at 2 p. m., at the expiration of the recess.)

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