D.C. budget: Deadlock over taxes, spending cuts

The D.C. Council's opposition to Mayor Vincent Gray's budget proposal is one vote shy of the majority, the Washington Post is reporting. The mayor's budget raises taxes four-tenths of one percent on those making over $200,000, and would generate about $40 million per year.

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The alternative is a sharp reduction in public services, such as closing all homeless shelters except for days with sub-freezing temperatures. Council member Jim Graham warned that opposing the Gray proposal will leave homeless families out in the cold. He supports the Gray budget, and also recommends improved security at youth detention centers.

At-large council member Vincent Orange, who won an April 26 special election, is the sixth opponent to Gray's budget. With 13 members on the council, his "no" vote is important, and leaves Gray with a one-vote majority.

The deciding vote may be cast by Yvette Alexander, who supports Gray's proposal but told the Post she would vote against it if Gray "is able to find money from somewhere else.”

A recent poll found that 87 percent of residents would rather raise taxes than cut services, WAMU reports.  

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