WASHINGTON, DC – At an April 19 DC Council legislative meeting, Councilmember Charles Allen introduced the End Taxation Without Representation Amendment Act of 2016 to update the District’s standard motor vehicle license plates.
In 2000, DC added the phrase “Taxation Without Representation” to DC license plates as a way to raise awareness about the disenfranchisement of our residents. This phrase, while recognizable, lacks a call to action. The residents of DC fulfill all obligations of citizenship, yet Congress continually denies us the accompanying rights and privileges.
“Yesterday was the deadline for filing federal taxes, and District residents have once again fulfilled this obligation as American citizens, paying our fair share toward shared national priorities. But because of where we call home, Congress denies us one of the most fundamental rights of Americans—the right to congressional representation,” Councilmember Allen said.
Under Allen’s bill, the standard license plate would be updated to read “End Taxation Without Representation” and reflect a rallying cry for equality. The bill also would require a new commemorative red and white motor vehicle tag that includes the phrase “We Demand Statehood.” Residents who choose to order a We Demand Statehood tag would pay a one-time application fee of $51 and then an annual display fee of $26 thereafter. These fees would be deposited into the New Columbia Statehood Fund and used to promote statehood and voting rights for the residents of DC.
The Council, along with the mayor, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Statehood Delegation, and countless citizen advocates, continues to actively engage in the fight for true representation in Congress. The End Taxation Without Representation Amendment Act of 2016 represents another step in that fight.
Councilmembers Alexander, Bonds, Cheh, Grosso, May, McDuffie, Nadeau, Silverman, and Todd joined Councilmember Allen in co-introducing the act.