Mayor Gray Wants Our Input On DC’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget

The Gray administration has posted a short survey on its website. It aims to get feedback on key issues in the proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which will go to the DC Council on April 1.

So all of us who live in the District have a chance to tell the mayor two important things:

  • Our priorities for next year’s local funding — specifically, how we rank major areas of the budget, e.g., human services, education, government operations
  • Whether we agree — and if so, how strongly — that the District government “should consider revenue enhancements,” e.g., taxes and fees, in balancing the budget.

We also have an opportunity to provide whatever specific recommendations we choose.

For example, if you feel, as I do, that “revenue enhancements” are a must-do — not just something the mayor should consider — you can tell him so. Also tell him what they should be.

A couple of big impact options.

Save Our Safety Net has an updated plan for new tax brackets that I personally feel is the best version yet.

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute recommends something similar, plus legislation the Council should have passed long ago to close a tax loophole that’s leaking millions of corporate dollars out of our local budget.

So much for the lobbying.

The recommendations box is also a great place to flesh out your priority choices — specific programs that should get more funding, programs and/or activities we could do without, etc.

It’s a good way to advocate constructively at a key momentespecially for those of us without access to the inner sanctums.

But time is short. The mayor and his people are undoubtedly putting the proposed budget together now. Once it gets to the Council, chances to significantly alter it are limited.

So take a moment to weigh in. A large volume of responses will let the mayor know that we’ll tell him what we think if he asks.

NOTE: Thanks to budget and children’s policy consultant and indefatigable blogger Susie Cambria for alerting me to the survey.

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