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(Washington Post) — D.C. Council members are considering proposals to raise taxes on middle- and upper-middle-class residents, not just the wealthy, as they try to close a budget shortfall that they say will require deep cuts to social programs, potential layoffs or furloughs of city employees and new tax brackets.  On Tuesday, the council will vote on a proposal by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) to close a $188 million budget shortfall in the current year’s budget through an array of spending cuts that many advocates have decried as mean-spirited. A tax increase is not expected to be approved Tuesday, but council members say the council debate will set the stage for a showdown next spring as they grapple with even larger shortfalls for fiscal 2012.

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