The District will not be raising its income tax to help pay for the city's growing budget gap. The move angered many advocates for safety net services, who say the deep spending cuts will disproportionately affect the city's poorest residents.
When D.C. Council Chairman and soon-to-be Mayor Vincent Gray slammed his gavel to start Tuesday's budget hearing, a protestor immediately jumped from his seat and denounced the funding cuts for social services. He was removed by security, but the scene repeated itself at least a half-dozen times during the day. Protestors who were wearing "1 percent" buttons on their shoulders to symbolize their support for an income tax increase, rose up to voice their anger at the council.
But these demonstrators did not sway a majority of council members. The council twice voted 8-5 against tax increases.
Instead, the council is proposing to save money with furloughs. The budget includes four unpaid holidays for everyone in the city government, including the council members.