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Mayor’s Budget Proposal Demands Biggest Sacrifices from Lowest Income Residents

WASHINGTON – Despite being called a budget of “shared sacrifice,” Mayor Bowser’s proposed fiscal year 2025 budget and financial plan takes an ax to transformative investments in residents who struggle to get by – like the Pay Equity Fund, “baby bonds” program, and the DC Earned Income Tax Credit – while prioritizing the wealthiest businesses. The budget also raises the sales tax, which disproportionately affects residents with low and moderate incomes who spend every dollar they earn to get by. As is, the proposed budget will set back the progress that DC has made on poverty reduction, greater economic inclusion, and shared prosperity.

“In the past few years, DC has made progress tackling longstanding inequities by investing in programs and services that support residents. This budget backtracks on key commitments and takes the District backward,” said Erica Williams, Executive Director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. “Eliminating the Pay Equity Fund and cutting the child care subsidy program, for example, would decimate the early education sector. It would undermine the mayor’s own ‘economic comeback’ plan and abandon DC’s commitment to Black and brown early educators whose work is foundational for all of DC’s businesses.

“People are DC’s economic engine—not any one neighborhood. Prioritizing public investments that support DC’s most-in-need children, workers, families, and businesses, as we have over the last few years, is critical to growing the strength and resilience of our economy.

“DC Council should look to raising revenue in equitable ways to keep critical programs and services whole, and they can do that by taxing DC’s concentrated wealth and taking other steps to broadening our tax base. By raising taxes on wealth, we can help ensure that every resident can share in DC’s economic growth and gains.”

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