D.C. budget proposal up for first vote

City facing $322M gap

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“It’s going to be the largest budget ever passed by the city, while every other city is cutting back,” he said. “I don’t know how long you can do all things for everybody.”

Mr. Evans also said he is concerned about a proposal to tax out-of-state municipal bonds in lieu of an income-tax increase, because many of these bonds are held by retirees on fixed incomes.

Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, said his priorities, notably the restoration of homeless services, have been taken care of in the chairman’s anticipated budget proposal, but he has concerns about the bonds tax.

Yet his worries are of a much different nature than Mr. Evans‘. He supports the bonds measure and has co-authored similar initiatives in the past, but saw majority support for it evaporate quickly amid opposition.

He would have rather seen the income-tax increase, citing broad popular support for it around the District compared to service cuts.

“There almost seems to be a consensus outside the council,” Mr. Graham said. “And the out-of-state bonds is going to be a firestorm.”

He noted, however, the income tax would have raised only about $18 million compared with an estimated $31 million through the bonds measure.

In the end, it’s up to the chairman.

“He’s got all of the cards on this,” Mr. Graham said.

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