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Posted at 3:06 PM ET, 06/15/2010

D.C. Council approves budget bill

By Washington Post editors

Even as the D.C. Council signed off on budget legislation Tuesday to close a $550 million gap, members warned that the city's finances could soon worsen if revenue projections do not keep pace with spending.

In a 12 to 1 vote, the council approved legislation to implement the budget blueprint agreed to in May. To balance the books, the council extended the sales tax to include sweetened beverages, such as sodas, and relied on borrowing and the District's reserve funds. Separately, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is planning to increase a long list of fees and fines.

"This was a very, very difficult budget," said Council chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) of the $5.3 billion plan for fiscal 2011.

Finance Committee Chairman Jack Evans, the lone vote against the measure, said he could not back a budget that dips into the city's savings account, below the mark that he said the Fenty administration promised the bond-rating agencies. He has cautioned that the current level of spending could lead to the return of the Congressionally-installed financial control board from the 1990s.

"I can't vote for something that takes us in a very dangerous direction," Evans said.

--Ann E. Marimow

By Washington Post editors  | June 15, 2010; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  DC  | Tags:  Vincent C. Gray, budget, d.c. council, mayor adrian fenty, soda tax  
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