In his proposed budget, Gray calls for raising taxes on households earning more than $200,000 a year, a move that would raise $35 million.
The D.C. Council is preparing to take up Gray's proposed income tax increase to help close the city's $322 million budget gap. The idea has been opposed by several on the council, including its chairman, Kwame Brown.
In the meantime, a new poll shows surprising support for the move. 70 percent of residents polled by Hart Research Associates say preserving public services should be a higher priority than holding down taxes.
The poll finds strong overall support for the tax hike. 85 percent of those polled endorse it.
Interestingly, that support includes the residents most likely to be affected. 87 percent of residents polled who earn $200,000 or more say the tax hike would be acceptable.
The poll, a telephone survey of more than 500 people, was paid for by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, a liberal think tank that has advocated for the income tax increase.
The survey also finds that more people now believe the city is on the wrong track than on the right track, which is a sharp reversal from earlier polls.