Loose Lips

Your Taxes Stay the Same, For Now

The show is over, the council has approved a mid-year course correction on its budget to bridge a $188 million gap. As expected, a few councilmembers tried to include tax increases, and as expected, those efforts failed.

Before we go any further, LL needs to cop to a mistake made a few weeks ago when he predicted that the budget passed today would be unrecognizable from what lameduck Still Mayor Adrian Fenty proposed last month. Save for a few notable changes, the council just passed a budget that looks very much like Fenty's proposal.

As for a pair of tax increase votes, they fell on a 8-5 margin. Those voting for tax increases: CMs Michael A. Brown, Harry Thomas Jr., Jim Graham, Tommy Wells, Marion Barry.  Those voting against: everyone else.

Lingering in the shadows of the council's debate were two boogeymen. The first: Fenty, who councilmembers say screwed them over by taking so long to send over a budget. Almost Mayor Vince Gray echoed the complaints of several councilmembers when he lamented the fact that the council had a "truncated, almost unreasonable amount of time" to digest Fenty's budget.

The second boogyman is another control board imposed by Republican congressmen. Some members of the the anti-tax increase faction of council said the city is headed to another control board if it doesn't start making painful cuts. CM Jack Evans said the incoming GOP-controlled House would like "nothing better" than to see the city implode under the weight of its own fiscal ineptitude, allowing Republicans to take over the city finances and say "we told you so."

Referring to another control board, Gray said: “The Grim Reaper is at the door.”

Anyway, the debate on tax increases isn't going anywhere. Look for it to come back with full force this spring, when the council tries to tackle a projected $440 million budget gap.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Wassup

    Please, please, please tell me bannering did not bear the bane of the axeman's stroke! To gambol cosseted by assurances conveyed by banners fluttering aloft, 'tis heavenly in deed! To ponder in "Mid-City Arts District", to exalt the eyes of all that see the Douglas Devlopment Sign, in "North of Georgetown - Burleith Adjacent" to sleep perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub!

  • DCDem

    If the Council doesn't see where the Streetcar program needs to be tabled I am quite sure a Republican Congress will see to it FOR them. That is the 800 lb gorilla in the room. Jumping up and down, pounding it's chest and baring canines. Why put off the inevitable. With a 300 million dollar deficit facing the city in FY 2012, only a saving grace influx of revenue is going to save this program. Good luck with that!!!

  • http://www.Hitmaka.com Hitz

    These college education IDIOTS in thar run the DC and Federal gov are some of the DUMBEST IDIOTS I have ever seen.

  • noodlez


  • ThomDC

    I have heard of no plans yet to scuttle the much needed lifeline that those bannering projects represent to the neighborhoods. It would be a major slap in the face to Jack Evans so its doubtful Gray will embarass Evans on his signature initiative. Who knows though, it wouldn't be the first time the pols have left us twisting in the wind.

  • Brrrr Leith

    Drop the bannering? Once again Burleith is the foster stepchild. We have our pride, we want our banners.

  • DCexpat

    Yes, control board please, Home Rule is a failure similar to pre-Home Rule.

  • DCCommish

    Streetcars are a much need investment in DC. We should be getting aid from the Feds on this project. It's time to make public transit in DC for DC residents and not invest anymore into Metro out to the Tysons for the rich VA's. I say clog downtown with al most inpassable streets at rush hour so those who live inthe burbs are forced due to time to take Metro. Then The streetcars will get used and tranportation in DC will improve. These streetcars are great! They will bring people in the city to areas not served by creating a east west tranportation route.

  • ControlBored

    Commish- you are an absolute moron. I don't care how great the streetcars might be, I'm not risking life and limb to take a joyride through the seediest parts of the City. I can see it now- streetcar hijacked by teenage drug-dealing, looking to drive it into PG to avoid the DC Poow Poow. The street cars isn't going to magically convert NE and SE DC into San Franciso and the cost to operate this gimmick will burden the DC budget more than any tourist dollars can offset.

  • ControlBored

    Also I forgot to mention that there is nothing but public transportation connecting the Eastern part of the City to the Western part. They're called metro buses and rail. I guess you wouldn't know that cause you're probably sitting in Georgetown, mandating what's best for the other parts of the City.