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D.C. Councils Prepares For Budget Vote

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By Patrick Madden

Later today the D.C. Council will vote on a budget to close the city's more than half-billion dollar deficit. With revenues falling and services already stretched, it's been one of the toughest budget seasons in recent memory. Today the council will vote on next year's spending plan and there are a couple of changes from what Mayor Adrian Fenty proposed.

The sweeping parking meter increases have been removed and some funding has been restored to the Office of Latino Affairs and the Office of the Tenant Advocate.

There are at least two key issues that are still unresolved and will hinge on what happens at the Wilson building today.

One, will the city council pass a 6 percent sales tax on soda? Right now, it's in the budget, but an earlier proposal to tax sweetened beverages a penny an ounce was killed after heavy lobbying from the soda industry. Expect similar pressure. Two, will the council pass an income tax increase? That measure is not in the proposed budget, but sources say it may be introduced.

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