America, today is April 15, but you have until Monday to file your taxes. For that, you can thank Vincent B. Orange Sr.
“You’re welcome,” the former D.C. Council member said today.
Orange introduced the 2005 bill establishing the April 16 holiday, the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the 1862 Compensated Emancipation Act, which freed 3,100 slaves in the District. D.C. government workers have the day off, though federal offices remain open.
But due to a vagary in federal law, the District’s holiday affects the federal government’s tax schedule, too. Emancipation Day previously helped hold back the date of reckoning in 2007. The IRS explained then: “Under a federal statute enacted decades ago, holidays observed in the District of Columbia have impact nationwide on tax issues, not just in D.C.”
While Orange, now running for a vacant at-large council seat, is happy to accept tardy taxpayers’ appreciation, he suggested that they make an additional gesture: “Call up your representatives and senators and tell them to support voting rights and statehood,” he said.