- The Washington Times - Friday, July 31, 2009

WASHINGTON — The D.C. Council has adopted a budget that includes increases in sales, gas and cigarette taxes expected to raise $50 million.

Council members unanimously approved the increases Friday in an effort to close a projected $666 million budget shortfall over the next three years. They avoided dipping into the city’s rainy-day fund.

The council agreed to raise the sales tax from 5.75 percent to 6 percent and the city’s 20 cent-a-gallon gas tax by 3.5 cents. D.C.’s cigarette tax would increase by 50 cents, to $2.50 a pack, making it the sixth-highest in the country, according to the American Lung Association.

The council also endorsed more than $100 million in spending cuts, affecting summer school, police hiring and summer jobs for young people.

The budget now goes to the mayor for approval.

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