Issues & Impact

Advocacy 2018

DC Chamber strongly encourages DC Council not to move forward with the false claims expansion or any future iteration of this policy suggestion

On December 20, 2018, the DC Chamber of Commerce testified before the Committee of the Whole on Bill 22-166, the False Claims Amendment Act of 2017. The proposed bill would amend current law and allow third-parties including bounty hunters the ability to circumvent the OCFO’s authority and file false claims suits related to taxation in court. Such a proposal is a departure from current best practices, and would lead to frivolous claims levied against local businesses.

DC Chamber of Commerce letter to the Council of the District of Columbia regarding the False Claims Amendment Act of 2017

DC Chamber sets Robust Advocacy Agenda for 2018
The DC Chamber of Commerce continues its successful advocacy efforts from 2017 in the new year, advocating for business-friendly policies with the DC Council and the Office of the Mayor. The business community contributes significantly to DC’s vibrant economy in order to make the District more attractive and to remain competitive in the region and nationally.

DC Chamber Mobilizes Business Community & Voices Concerns on a New Employer Requirement that will Cost Job Creators – January 19, 2018

In a letter transmitted to the DC Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment, the DC Chamber of Commerce and several members of the business community, urged the Councilmembers not to consider Bill 22, 175, the Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act of 2017. The bill would not only increase employer costs, but because our members operate in a regional economy, and each new cost or compliance burden enacted by the Council makes the District a less-attractive location for investment and job growth the business community opposes the expansive policy.

Read Business Community’s Letter to the Council Regarding the Transportation Benefits Equity Amendment Act

DC Chamber President & CEO Vincent Orange Testifies before the Committee of the Whole – April 19, 2018
The DC Chamber of Commerce provided comments on Bill 22-669, the Department of Buildings Establishment Act of 2018. The bill, as introduced would essentially redefine the DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs as the Department of Licensing and Consumer Protection. It would also establish a new agency, the Department of Buildings. The DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs is one agency that touches all businesses in the District and as the voice of all businesses large and small, restructuring DCRA as described in the legislation or creating new bureaucracies in our belief will not achieve the desired goals of the Council but may in fact create more challenges for residents and businesses alike.
Testimony of Vincent Orange, President & CEO.

DC Chamber of Commerce Advocates for Lower Taxes and Reduced Costs for Employers – April 30, 2018.

 In a letter submitted to members of the Council of the District of Columbia, the DC Chamber of Commerce and several member companies and groups request legislators reassess the tax burden on job creators and right-size the Unemployment Tax fund collections to prevent large end-of-year surpluses. The letter’s delivery coincided with the DC Chamber’s April 30th Lobby Day in which employers spent the day at the John A. Wilson Building advocating for business-friendly policies.

DC Chamber of Commerce Letter to Reduce Unemployment Taxes

DC Chamber of Commerce Shares its Concerns to the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety on New Policies that would restrict financial industry & jeopardize small businesses access to capital – June 21, 2018

The DC Wage Garnishment Fairness Act, would establish limits on the amount that can be garnished from an individual’s wages by factoring in gross wages and disposable wages. It also precludes wage garnishment from employees making less than the DC living wage rates while also mandating notice be provided to those workers. While on the surface the concept would seemingly foster equity however, we are seriously concerned that it would create challenges for small firms and certified businesses who desperately need access to capital. As such, the DC Chamber of Commerce cannot support the bill as introduced.
Submitted Testimony of the DC Chamber of Commerce

DC Chamber Supports Bill 22-766, the “Substance Abuse and Opioid Overdose Prevention Amendment Act”

As of July 2015, forty-one states and DC have legislation  which  makes  it  easier for 

medical professionals to prescribe and dispense medication like naloxone. Bill 22-766, will ensure the District’s policies so  that pharmacists  may  dispense  opioid  overdose prevention drugs like naloxone via standing order With so many areas throughout the country going through an opioid misuse, overdose and death epidemic, the DC Chamber of Commerce supports the Committee on Health’s efforts to approve Bill 22- 766 and its actions to ensure training programs provided by the Board of Pharmacy are in effect  to expand access to naloxone and opioid overdose prevention medication.

Submitted Testimony of Erika Wadlington, Director of Public Policy & Programs

DC Chamber of Commerce Encourages Councilmember Jack Evans and the Finance & Revenue Committee to Move Forward with Sports Betting as Drafted

The DC Chamber of Commerce believes in job growth and creation, and working collaboratively with all of its stakeholders (government, employees, and community) to make the District of Columbia a great place to live, and to start and grow a business. On October 16, 2018, the DC Chamber submitted a letter of support for Bill 22-944, the “Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018”.  It is important to ensure that our local economy grows and revenue stays in the District versus being spent in neighboring jurisdictions, as such, the DC Chamber, endorses Bill 22-944 in its current form and encourages the committee to favorably report out this legislation.

DC Chamber Letter of Support on Bill 22-944, Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act

DC Chamber Provides Feedback on the Certified Business Enterprise Program

The District has over $600 million in local funding available to purchase goods and services that will go towards the support of CBEs, but in past years not all these available dollars were spent with CBEs. The Chamber will hold District government accountable for meeting its CBE targets, enforcing CBE requirements and agency spend plans.

Testimony of Margaret Singleton, VP of Contracts & Programs, Before the Committee on Business & Economic Development

DC Chamber Supports Local Tax Credit Incentive For Employers Who Hire Underemployed

Even with strides made in job growth and creation, a majority of the District’s workforce commutes everyday from outside the City. While there are plenty of skilled workers ready to take available jobs, there are also many residents who face significant barriers to employment and this bill will help to address this issue by establishing a local tax credit program that would provide a business franchise credit up to $2,400 to employers who hire residents that are underemployed or face barriers to employment.

Testimony of Erika Wadlington, Director of Public Policy & Programs on B22-668, Local Work Opportunity Tax Credit Amendment Act of 2018.

Advocacy 2017

DC Chamber Testifies before the Committee of the Whole, Nov. 1, 2017
Many DC Chamber members, who do business with the District, have over the years, raised concerns about receiving timely payment even though there exists a Quick Payment Act. As a Chamber that supports advocating for business-friendly policies, it is essential we advocate for the concerns of the business community, and support the Committee of the Whole as it seeks to ensure prompt payment is delivered to private-sector contractors who provide goods and services to the District government through Bill 22-439, Quick Payment Amendment Act of 2017.
Testimony of Erika Wadlington, Director of Public Policy & Programs.

DC Chamber President & CEO Vincent Orange Testifies at Committee of the Whole, Oct. 10, 2017
The “Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016” established a District-run paid leave program for individuals employed in the District, and provides for eight weeks of parental leave, six weeks of family leave, and two weeks of medical leave. The DC Chamber does not object to the paid leave benefits. However, it does object to the funding of the paid leave benefits by imposing a 0.62 percent tax on the business community generating annually nearly $250 million of tax revenue of which nearly $160 million will fund paid leave benefits for non-residents of the District. The DC Chamber commented on Bill 22-130, the “Paid Leave Compensation Act of 2017,” Bill 22-133, the “Universal Paid Leave Compensation for Workers Amendment Act of 2017,” Bill 22-302, the “Large Employer Paid-Leave Compensation Act of 2017,” Bill 22-325, the “Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2017,” and Bill 22-334, the “Universal Paid Leave Pay Structure Amendment Act of 2017.”
Testimony of Vincent Orange, President & CEO.

DC Chamber Testifies at Committee of the Whole, Oct. 10, 2017
The DC Chamber supports its member companies that appreciate the DC Council taking another look at the financing mechanism for universal paid leave, as well as the Committee’s interest in reviewing the components of the program administration. About the administrative, compliance and enforcement provisions in the proposed bills, particularly Bill 22-334, the “Universal Paid Leave Pay Structure Amendment Act of 2017,” the DC Chamber would like to work with the Committee on language that ensures the reporting requirements are simple and not overly burdensome, on amendments to what is considered unlawful practices that are action driven and responsive but do not dampen enforcement activity. We would also like to work on provisions that would reduce the punitive aspects and costs of the law not increase them.
Testimony of Erika Wadlington, Director of Public Policy & Programs.

DC Chamber Testifies before the Committee on Business & Economic Development, Oct. 2, 2017
The DC Chamber is working to expand the economy in the District by attracting new jobs and creating economic opportunities for our members and citizens. The DC Chamber also focuses on issues that impact our future growth and community development, including workforce development, international trade, regulatory and tax reform. As such, the DC Chamber support sand encourages the DC Council to pass Bill 22-335, The Ward 4 Full-Service Grocery Store Amendment Act of 2017.
Testimony of Erika Wadlington, Director of Public Policy & Programs.

DC Chamber Testifies before the DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment, Sept. 25, 2017
The DC Chamber of Commerce believes in job growth and creation, and working collaboratively with all of its stakeholders (government, employees, and community) to make the District of Columbia a great place to live, and to start and grow a business. While the DC Chamber understands the intent behind The Transportation Benefits Equity Act of 2017, and believes while well intentioned, it would cumulatively add to the regulatory burden local businesses face and will injure the very job creators the District seeks to recruit into its neighborhoods to provide greater opportunities to DC residents. As such, the DC Chamber cannot support Bill 22-175, as drafted.
Testimony of Erika Wadlington, Director of Public Policy & Programs.

DC Chamber Work Pays Off on Business Tax Cuts
On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the DC Chamber of Commerce saw the fruits of its hard work and advocacy for business-friendly policies pay off with the DC Council. The business community prevailed in maintaining some $100 million of scheduled tax cuts proposed by the DC Tax Revision Commission – about 19 percent of the tax cuts go toward ensuring the DC corporate franchise tax is reduced to the 8.25 percent rate. Further increasing the District’s competitive economy by lowering the  business tax rate to that of our neighbor, the state of Maryland.
Letter to the DC Council from DC Chamber, business groups and businesses.

DC Chamber Testifies before the Committee of the Whole, May 12, 2017
The DC Chamber, its members and the hundreds of thousands of employees they employ pay millions of dollars in tax revenue annually to the District. The DC Chamber urges the Committee to impose no additional fiscal burdens on businesses in the fiscal year 2018 Proposed Budget Support Act and Request Act of 2017. In 2018, approximately $20 million out of the $100 million in revenue will go to corporate tax reductions, this represents about 19 percent of the scheduled tax relief as recommended in the proposed budget and will bring DC’s corporate tax rate to 8.25 percent aligning the District’s corporate tax structure with that of its neighboring Maryland counties and at least closer to Virginia’s corporate franchise rate.
Testimony of Erika Wadlington, Director of Public Policy & Programs.

DC Chamber Testifies before the Committee on Finance & Revenue, May 8, 2017
The DC Chamber also focuses on issues that impact our future growth and community development, including workforce development, international trade, and tax reform. The DC Chamber submitted its comments on Bill 22-45, the “East End Commercial Real Property Tax Rate Reduction Amendment Act of 2017”; Bill 22-202, the “East End Grocery and Retail Incentive Program Tax Abatement Act of 2017; and Bill 22-218, the “Relieve High Unemployment Tax Incentives Act of 2017. It is important for the growth and development of our jurisdiction that we focus on economic diversification and policies that support the interest of the business community and foster job creation.
Testimony of the DC Chamber.