Changes to D.C. Taxes, Services and Agencies Begin Today

Wednesday, September 30, 2009; 6:40 PM

District residents and those who smoke, purchase goods and buy gas in the city will pay more starting Thursday, Oct. 1. And there will be plenty of other changes to city agencies and services as the city tries to reel in its budget in the new fiscal year, which begins Thursday.

The sales tax jumps to 6 percent from 5.75 percent while the gasoline tax rises to 23.5 cents to 20 cents. Meanwhile, smokers will pay 50 cents more per pack as taxes rise from $2 to $2.50.

Car safety inspections, which the city ended to save $400,000, no longer will be required to put a vehicle on the road. But emissions tests will remain.

The quasi-public entity D.C. Washington Sports and Entertainment Commission will merge Thursday with the Washington Convention Center Authority, another quasi-public agency. They will form the new Washington Convention and Sports Authority.

The first meeting is Thursday at the convention center.

Gregory O'Dell, former chief executive of the convention center authority, now will be president and chief executive officer of the new group. Erik Moses, former chief executive of the commission, now holds the title of senior vice president and managing director of the Sports, Entertainment and Special Events Division. The board of directors will grow from 9 to 11 members.

Not all changes will be seen on Thursday.

Starting Monday, the D.C. Library will save $4.8 million by reducing hours and parking for the Xtreme Mobile, the city's bookmobile. Neighborhood libraries will be closed on Sundays and users will be encouraged to utilize the central Martin Luther King, Jr., Library, which city officials said is accessible by Metro.

-- Nikita Stewart

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