D.C. Council Divided on Taxes, Service
(Washington Post) — As the D.C. Council prepares to finalize the city’s next budget, members appear to be deadlocked over whether to increase taxes on those earning $200,000 or more and how aggressively they want to push to hire additional police officers or fight proposed cuts in services. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) began meeting with council members last week to gauge their priorities. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), who faced a $322 million shortfall upon being inaugurated in January, proposed his first city budget five weeks ago. That plan, for fiscal 2012, included higher income taxes for high earners and $187 million in spending cuts. But Brown and several other council members are considering blocking the tax increase, which could lead to deeper cuts and set up a showdown with Gray and liberal council members who say the city’s wealthiest residents are not paying their fair share.