Relying on short-term income adjustments to pay for spending increases does not bode well for fair and competitive tax policy. Yet this is one of the many troubling aspects of Mayor Muriel Bowser’s budget proposals currently under consideration by DC council. The spending projections tell us a lot about the future shape of the District’s tax policy – and seem to indicate that tax increases may be on the horizon in the years to come.
On March 19, the mayor presented him budget for fiscal year 2020, accompanied by a four-year financial plan which goes through fiscal year 2023 (which can be found in chapter 2 of the Abstract). Much of the discussion since then has focused on the expense side – what was funded and what was harmed. The revenue side of the 2020 budget has also received some attention (see here and here), but changes to the revenue structure and longer-term expectations embodied in the four-year financial plan also require careful consideration.
Yesim Sayin Taylor is the Executive Director of the DC Policy Center
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