« PreviousContinue »
Expenditures of $5,000 to $7,500 income group' (based on $6,250)
· Based on 62 percent of income for living expenses, see p. 16, Spending and Saving.
Food away from home
875 525 316 700 525 131 175 210 263 131 44 88 44
Mr. Press. They show, for example, that a family in the $1,500 to $2,000 income group would pay approximately $8.11 in sales taxes per year, or 0.47 percent of income, and that the amount of tax and the percentage of tax to income increases slightly as the income groups become higher. The $10,000 to $12,500 family, we calculated, would pay $64.68 a year in tax, or 0.57 percent.
Mr. BATES: Your organization, of course, is opposed to a sales tax, except as a last resort.
Mr. Press. Yes, sir, we favor another program. We feel that we will not get this, and we want to make a few comments respecting it.
This last exhibit is a summary there, and tables for the various income groups are submitted therewith.
Mr. Chairman, I merely want to put those tables and that information in the record for the consideration of the committee.
Mr. BATES. Now, Mr. Press, again let me ask the same question I did of General McCoach the other day, representing the finance committee, municipal finance committee, of the board of trade, if you hare very carefully examined this program of public works, of municipal expenditures, upon which this new source of revenue is required, and whether or not in your opinion the program is well justified or whether or not it is extravagant, ill-advised, or in any way should be modified.
All of these bills, I presume-I am having figures prepared—all of these bills seeking new sources of revenue are geared into program which is projected into the future presumably, for the most part for capital outlays, because, I presume, that your natural increase in real values, real-estate values and personal income, will take care of the current expenditures, the increase in current expenses, so that your fixed, your capital, outlays have to be met by additional revenues.
Now, has the board of trade given very careful study to that projected program, and if so, over what period of years? Once these taxes are levied, they are levied for all time unless we repeal them.
Mr. Press. Yes, sir.
Mr. BATES. And the only thing, the only flexible tax that would be in the law at all, is the real estate tax, either up or down, so we have got to gear the program, the revenue program, to the projected program of public works, as you call it in the District.
Mr. Press. Yes. Of course, we have, over a period of many years, followed the District of Columbia's fiscal development very closely. General McCoach stated the other day that in our judgment existing revenue sources would roughly cover operation and maintenance, the general fund, during the next 10 years, and that what we are seeking is money for capital improvements.
Mr. BATEs. That is right.
Mr. Press. We believe, and General McCoach so testified, that that capital improvement program should be carried on at the rate of about $8,000,000 a year out of current revenue. We have been studying it.
Mr. BATES. Out of current revenue.
Mr. Press. $8,000,000 a year. Though, we did suggest that if it were necessary to step it up beyond that, it should be accomplished by a small amount of borrowing which would be retired out of the $8,000,
000 a year.
Mr. BATES. That is what I was coming to. You mean by current revenue, revenue that is flowing into the District either from present sources or from new sources.
Mr. PRESS. Yes.
Mr. Press. We are assuming that the tax program which we have suggested, which would raise roughly $10,000,000 a year, would make available approximately $8,000,000 a year for capital improvements.
Now then, General Young, as you probably know, did earlier in the year, in consultation with his department heads, work up quite a detailed statement of what he believed were necessary capital improvements. His original report has been taken by a citizens' group, of which the board of trade was an important part; I think there were 18 citizens, and they have now compiled a list of what they believe to be capital improvements in the District of Columbia which are necessary during the foreseeable future. That report is about 80,000 words, and the board of trade is currently getting bids to have it—the District government has no money-to print it. The board of trade is currently getting bids from printers, and we expect to print that report and make it available to all Members of Congress. That will set out the entire capital requirements of the District of Columbia.
Mr. BATEs. That is projected over a period of years.
Mr. PRESS. Yes, sir.
Mr. Press. It does not specify as to years, but it is the opinion of the group that has made up this report, too, that the most that we can put in capital improvements in the District of Columbia is $10,000,000 a year.
Senator Cain. So, it is a sliding scale from eight to ten.
Mr. Press. The board of trade says eight. This group, of which the board of trade was a part, says ten.
Senator Cain. Ten. But they cannot see 15 years from now how your financial structure will permit more than a continuing $10,000,000 to be an expense item for capital improvements.
Mr. Press. We believe $8,000,000 a year will-
Mr. BATES. Now, let us see. We have expenditures here in the general fund, capital outlays for 1946 of 11 million; that is including the 10 million and 5 million that
you have invested. Mr. Press. Well, I think capital
Mr. BATEs. Your normal expenditures, let us say in 1945, were practically $8,000,000 a year in the general fund.
Mr. Press. The capital expenditures of the District of Columbia in the general fund from the year 1920 to 1940 averaged out at about $6,000,000 a year.
Mr. BATEs. That is right.
Mr. Press. In the fiscal year 1947, capital expenditures in the general fund totaled about $7,000,000, and the budget which is now before the Appropriations Committee contains items totaling, I think, seven million eight—or almost $8,000,000.
Mr. BATEs. Well, they have here in the general fund capital outlays for 1945, $11,706,000, and that includes 5 million for 1945 and 10 million for 1946 for investments.
Mr. Press. Surplus funds were invested in Government securities and earmarked for capital improvements at the conclusion of the war.
Mr. BATES. So that brought it down to $6,700,000 actual outlay in 1945, and 10 million in 1946 for investments. What is the interpretation of that?
Mr. Press. I am not sure, but I think Mr. Pilkerton probably charged up that money which was set aside.
Mr. BATES. Yes.
Well, it is your opinion then that a program for all capital outlays, exclusive of water, I presume you mean
Mr. PRESS. Exclusive of water and the highway fund; just the general fund.
Mr. BATEs. General fund of $8,000,000. Now, what would you say would be a fair outlay for capital outlay for highways?
a Mr. Press. That, sir, I have not the figures at my fingertips. We did support the increase in the gasoline tax because we believed that it was necessary to do the very extensive work on our highway system to combat decentralization in the central business area.
Mr. BATES. The $8,000,000 in the general fund, that would embrace school buildings?
Mr. Press. Yes, sir.
Mr. Bates. Public buildings of every description. What else would it embrace, in your opinion?
Mr. Press. Well, welfare institutions, health institutions.
Mr. Press. It would include all capital requirements; land purchase and buildings, all capital requirements of the District of Columbia with the exception of the water system and the items carried in the highway fund.
Mr. Bates. And you have given very careful thought to the projects that have been set forth, projected into the future as being necessary, and the estimated cost of the same that you think will call for an average expenditure of 8 to 10 million dollars a year.
Mr. Press. The report-again, I have to say this—the report is a citizens' report, and not strictly a board of trade report, as I say, that we are about to print.
Mr. BATES. Yes.
Mr. Press. It does assign priorities to those which are most urgently needed.
Mr. Bares. Can you supply for the record-probably General Young is doing that—the priority given to projects over a period of 5 years,
of the estimated cost of those projects? Mr. Press. I am sure that the General is doing that. Mr. BATES. I think he has been asked to submit that information. Mr. Press. Yes, sir. I will check with him. Mr. Bares. You check and see that he does, will you please? Mr. Press. Yes, sir. Mr. BATES. That is all as far as I am concerned. Senator Cain. I have no further questions. Mr. Press. Thank you.
Senator Cain. Has Mrs. Parks arrived? We will be glad to hear from you, Mrs. Parks.
able to pay.
STATEMENT OF GERTRUDE PARKS, PRESIDENT, DISTRICT
FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S CLUBS, WASHINGTON, D. C. Mrs. Parks. I am Gertrude Parks, president of the District Federation of Women's Clubs, and since 1938, why, I believe, we have been in favor of a sales tax.
We feel that, as I have read the testimony, the principal objection is that they seem to think that it will fall on the people who are less
We do not exactly feel that that is a valid criticism. In the first place, it is a very easy tax to collect, and in the next place, I think the people who are less able to pay are the widows and the small salaried people who own a little bit of property, and another increased property tax would work at this time a very great hardship because, as you all know, the rents have been frozen, and utilities and improvements have gone up three and four times what they were, and it really makes the small property owner under a great disadvantage, and I think it puts a premium on unthrift because the person who does not have a visible means of taxing, he escapes.