600,000 Voters Say, “Let’s Raise Revenue”

More than 600,000 people on Tuesday made it known that they want to raise taxes to preserve critical government services. No, it wasn’t in DC, but we hope that the District’s elected officials take notice.

The voters of Oregon approved by referendum two bills that endorsed a balanced approach to budgeting. Measure 66 raised income taxes on families with incomes above $250,000, and individuals with incomes above $150,000. Measure 67 increased taxes on certain corporations. The bills directed legislators to put the money toward education, health-care, and other important public assets.

The vote demonstrated that many Americans understand the need to raise revenue in these difficult economic times and disagree with an all-cuts, slash-and-burn method to make state and local government work.
We hope Mayor Fenty and DC Councilmembers take note of what happened in Oregon. The District also faces a challenging budget for next year, and we believe many voters in our city agree with our West Coast brethren.

DCFPI supports similar measures to balance the District’s budget. A bill is currently being considered by the DC Council to raise income taxes on households earning above $500,000, and DCFPI supports other revenue-raising measures as well. (If you want to learn more, join DCFPI and the Fair Budget Coalition at a forum tomorrow at 9:30 in Room 120 at the John A. Wilson Building.)

A balanced approach to budgeting involves new revenue, not just cuts. Oregon voters recognized that deep cuts would diminish the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest and slow down recovery from the Great Recession. That’s true for DC as well.