Housing Complex

Bag Tax Funding Restored to River Cleanup

25 m street

The view from 20 M Street SE. (Lydia DePillis)

About a month and a half ago, advocates of the bag tax were incensed to learn that Mayor Adrian Fenty's budget diverted a couple million dollars from the revenue it generated–originally intended to clean up the Anacostia–into street sweeping, which the city argued was just another way of protecting the river. A national conservative foundation even started using the move to campaign against other bag tax initiatives around the country.

Amid much talk of the cleanup plan at the Capitol Riverfront BID's Anacostia Business Summit yesterday, there was no mention of the raid on the fund. Why? Charles Allen, chief of staff to bag tax champion Tommy Wells, confirms that the money was put back in the Anacostia cleanup fund in the flurry of committee activity last week. Though the Council has yet to vote on the final budget, he says, "from an initial standpoint, the funds have been restored." 

Wells was on hand at the summit to cheer his accomplishment–so much so that politicians around the country were calling him to ask how he did it without being ridden out on a rail. "It has been quite a bit more sire successful than we anticipated," Wells told an audience of government, environmentalist, and developer types. "Now the other officials are saying alright, you're still in office, now we can look at this."

The event also served to show off 20 M Street, which still has at least two floors worth of office space totally empty, not to mention ground floor retail. From the tenth floor, attendees got a view of Akridge's still-fallow Half Street project, plus an underground parking garage being constructed off to the left.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    I TOLD YOU ALL THIS WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!

  • WARD4NDC

    Fenty is an asshole.

  • Stratavarious

    uhh... reporting? that's not an underground garage under construction numb nuts. that's a stalled development project. A hole in the ground. The underground garage was to have 2 residential buildings and an Aloft hotel on it. How much does this bag tax cost to administer? It's the stupidist thing I've heard in a long, long time.

  • DC Dude

    We are 5 months into the bag tax, and the DC government has failed to:

    1) Define a plan to clean up the river
    2) Define when the river will be clean, so we can stop the tax
    3) Define a start date for the cleaning to begin

    We're being ripped off and Fenty's plan to raid the fund for other purposes exposes the real intention behind the bag tax. Don't be fools. Don't let them also pass a Soda Tax and do all of this again to taxpayers.

  • Wrack

    DC Dude, maybe you should look at the District Department of the Environment's website before you start making ill-founded claims about the lack of a plan to clean the river. Because there's a plan there. Plain as day.

    And the point is that Fenty DIDN'T succeed in his attempt to raid the fund. It was a proposal. The proposal was rejected. You're not being ripped off.... except by having a Mayor who has no respect for the law or the public.

  • http://rickmangus@aol.com Rick Mangus

    'Wrack', you have more faith in the DC Government then me and the majority of people in this city!

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