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Mayor Gray Vetoes Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mayor Gray Vetoes Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

Mayor Cites Tax Hikes on Seniors, Steep Cuts in Funding to Streetcar Program, Tax on Wellness and Provisions Tying Hands of Future Mayors; asks Council to Work with Him on Compromise

(Washington, DC) — Mayor Vincent C. Gray today vetoed the “Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2014” and returned the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Request Act of 2014 to the Council with three line-item vetoes. Mayor Gray cited significant problems in a number of areas of the Council’s budget, and asked the Council to delay their summer recess for 30 days to work with the Executive Branch on a compromise budget that best serves the interests of District residents.

“I cannot, in good conscience, sign a budget that hurts seniors, taxes wellness, dramatically delays and drives up the cost of the DC Streetcar system, and ties the hands of future Mayors to respond to fiscal problems,” said Mayor Gray. “I am asking Chairman Mendelson and the other members of the Council to work with me so we can craft a reasonable compromise that resolves these problems and better serves the 647,000 residents of our city.”

Mayor Gray continued: “Specifically, this budget not only guts the tax cuts we promised our seniors, but also disproportionately shifts the tax burden to them in other ways. And this budget would also have taxed wellness and removed incentives for District employees to live in our city. Futhermore, this budget would delay until 2045 and increase the cost by 50 percent of our most important public-transit initiative in years: The DC Streetcar program. Finally, it unnecessarily ties the hands of future Mayors and limits their ability to respond in a fiscally responsible way to unforeseen problems and crises.”

Mayor Gray concluded: “For these reasons, I vetoed the budget. If the veto is sustained, I look forward to working with the Council on a stronger compromise budget. However, regardless of what the Council chooses to do, I cannot in good conscience support this budget as submitted. Although I will not be in office when the majority of this budget is implemented, I cannot turn a blind eye to the impact that it will have on the next administration and District residents.”

A copy of the Mayor’s letter to the Chairman explaining his reasons for the veto is attached.

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