Councilmember Silverman Introduces Amendments to Ensure Tax Abatement Benefits District Residents

Today, At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman introduced four amendments to the Local Jobs and Tax Incentive Act of 2015, the legislation to give a $60 million property tax abatement to the property expected to be leased by the Advisory Board Company (ABC). The amendments sought to ensure that economic development incentives for private companies continue to benefit District taxpayers and support job growth and security for District residents.

“While I’m not convinced we need this abatement to keep the Advisory Board in the District, I believe there are ways we can make this a better deal for the District and our residents,” said Silverman about the proposed legislation. “When we’re making an investment in a company like this, we need to think critically about our return on investment for the District and our residents.”

The following amendments were brought before the Council for consideration:

  • Living Wage Amendment: An amendment to ensure that all employment generated on the designated property, including jobs through subcontractors, is subject to the District’s Living Wage Law.
  • Fair and Honest Calculation Amendment: An amendment to more closely tie the abatement amount to ABC’s progress toward its goals. It would adjust the abatement to accurately reward ABC for its increase in new, full-time District hires over the course of ten years. Hiring 50 percent of the target should mean getting 50 percent of the benefit.
  • Investing in Jobs for Job Seekers Amendment: An amendment to hold ABC accountable for hiring District residents who have participated in specific District or nonprofit employment training programs as full-time employees.
  • Investing in Jobs for Current D.C. Residents Amendment: An amendment to clarify that new hires only count toward ABC’s hiring goals if they were already a District resident at the time they received their employment offer. This amendment would help ensure that current District residents in fact benefit from this abatement.

“My goal with these amendments was to make sure that, when we invest in a company, we are supporting living wage jobs for current residents, especially those who need jobs the most,” said Silverman. 

The Council rejected all amendments proposed and voted in favor of the Local Jobs and Tax Incentive Act of 2015, moving the legislation to a second vote at an upcoming legislative meeting.