The Politics Hour

The Politics Hour

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson joins Kojo and Tom Sherwood in the studio.

A court ruling reopens the possibility that the District will hold an election for attorney general this fall. Virginia's governor mulls expanding Medicaid as the commonwealth's budget standoff continues. And Maryland candidates begin their final sprint to primaries on June 24. Join us for our weekly review of the politics, policies, and personalities of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

Guests

Tom Sherwood

Resident Analyst; NBC 4 reporter; and Columnist for the Current Newspapers

Phil Mendelson

Chairman, D.C. Council (D)

Jim LeMunyon

Member, Virginia House of Delegates (R-Fairfax/Loudoun)

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Despite the largely negative public reaction to a proposal to tax certain city services, including gym memberships and classes at yoga studios, D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson said again Friday officials would likely not revisit the issue.

The proposed 5.75 sales tax, quickly dubbed the "yoga tax" by many residents, is part of an effort to broaden the city's tax base, Mendleson said on the Kojo Nnamdi Show's Friday Politics Hour.

Ultimately, he said, this year's package of tax reforms would actually save DC taxpayers some hundreds of dollars. If the tax was scrapped, officials would have to find another revenue source to replace it.

In response to a caller who suggested the tax could work against residents' efforts to stay healthy, Mendleson said "I don't know any tax administrator ... who would say that affects behavior."

He noted that even the tax on cigarettes, which can reach $2 per pack, hasn't done much to deter sales, nor has the tax on sugary beverages.

Watch the full discussion below

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The Kojo Nnamdi Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.