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Statement from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute: DC Council’s Budget Takes Big Step in Ensuring a Just Recovery and Future

Contact: Tazra Mitchell | Policy Director | | (202) 886-5179

WASHINGTON, DC—“This year’s budget is one of the most important in DC’s history. After nearly one and a half years of loss and uncertainty, it offers us a chance to repair the racially disparate harms of the COVID-19 crisis and to ‘build back better’—to an antiracist, equitable economy. In its first budget vote yesterday, the DC Council met the urgency of the moment by raising taxes on DC’s wealthiest to make ongoing, transformative investments in child care, homelessness prevention, and working residents. The Council also leveraged federal and local dollars to make stronger investments in the production of affordable housing and public housing repairs, and fully funded school-based mental health, ensuring ALL students in ALL public schools have access to vital behavioral health services in the coming school year. 

“With a modest tax increase on DC’s wealthiest residents, the Council will raise over $170 million each year by Fiscal Year 2025 to help dismantle structural barriers to opportunity for Black and brown communities and those living on low incomes. Through these new investments, early educators who earn little more than minimum wage to care for DC’s youngest children will finally get the raises they deserve. Meanwhile, the Council’s plan to fund  housing vouchers will get the District much closer to a future without long term homelessness.  

“In the midst of a recession that has thrown many workers into economic distress, the budget proposal also ensures that workers with low and moderate incomes will get to keep more of their earnings through a stronger Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is now the strongest local EITC in the nation!  We are disappointed that the current version of the budget does not include adequate funding for excluded workers and stripped funding for “Heroes Pay” for workers risking their life during the pandemic. We urge the Council to fund these urgent needs at the second budget vote in August.   

“We praise the DC Council for their leadership in advancing racial equity through these investments and improvements to our tax code, and we look forward to working with the Council moving forward to ensure proper implementation of the programs and services funded through the FY 2022 budget to fully maximize this unprecedented opportunity for a just recovery and future.” 


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