Gray seeks residents’ input on budget, tax increase

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, grappling with an estimated $312 million budget deficit in fiscal 2012, is asking residents whether they would support an increase in fees or taxes and whether they would prioritize education or other issues in an online survey.

In an unusual move, the Gray administration is posting a five-question survey that will help officials craft the much-anticipated budget, which will be submitted to the D.C. Council April 1.

“We’re asking you to help us think creatively about how to practice good fiscal stewardship while also living up to the equally important goal of providing our children the first-rate education they deserve,” Gray said in a news release. “The citizen’s survey is another method of community engagement and collaboration.”

The survey begins by asking whether they live in the District and which ward they live in. Then, it gets to the nitty-gritty, like ranking priorities: education, public safety, human services, government operations, transportation and public works and economic development. Should the government consider balancing the budget with “revenue enhancements?” That’s code for “taxes and fees.” And finally, question No. 5 is an open-ended free-for-all: share your specific recommendations.

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