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Uber, Lyft will cost you more under DC’s new budget plan

WASHINGTON — One week after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her full support for a plan to provide Metro with dedicated funding, the mayor released her new budget proposal, which includes details on how the District would pay for it.

Under the $14.5 billion budget that Bowser unveiled Wednesday, D.C. would raise a handful of taxes to come up with a large chunk of the $178.5 million it would owe Metro each year.

More than $80 million would come from increasing taxes on sales, commercial property and ride-sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft.

“We’re going all in and fully funding Metro for our future at $178 million, the amount the District needs to contribute to finally solve the dedicated revenue problem that has held our system back for years and years,” Bowser said last week in her State of the District speech.

The city’s sales tax would go up from 5.75 percent to 6 percent.

Commercial property tax rates would rise by 2 cents, and taxes on ride-sharing services would rise from 1 percent to 4.75 percent.

Metro is funded by Virginia, Maryland, D.C. and the federal government but does not have a dedicated funding source. It is the only subway system in the nation without a dedicated and consistent funding plan.

The $178.5 million figure was set in legislation that was approved by the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia would need to pay Metro about $154 each year while Maryland would owe $167 million.

Whether Maryland will go along with the plan is still a question mark.

Bowser’s $14.5 billion budget for the next fiscal year that begins in October includes investments in transit beyond Metro, such as $430 million to fix roads and sidewalks.

Education investments include a $94 million increase in funding for public and charter schools.

Bowser calls for a 3.91 percent increase in per-pupil funding, which determines how much money schools receive for each student enrolled. Last year, the mayor was criticized for aiming too low when she asked for a 1.5 percent increase in per-pupil funding levels.

The budget proposal now heads to the D.C. Council for its consideration.

Council members have planned for their first meeting on the matter to be held Friday.

Get the full budget details at the mayor’s D.C. site.


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