On Tuesday, May 30, 2017, the Council of the District of Columbia will consider Mayor Bowser’s proposed fiscal year 2018 budget. I’ve said many times on the record that this is the worst education budget I’ve seen in my five years on the Council. It’s not only the education portion of the budget, but the entire city budget that needed improvements. The Council has worked together to improve this budget, but there is still more to be done. In particular, I have yet to understand why we are continuing to give tax cuts to the wealthy while we are underfunding education, social services, and the arts and humanities.

Just in the Education budget, the Committee on Education worked to restore cuts to early childhood literacy programs, increased the Universal Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF) to 2.38% over last year’s approved budget (the Mayor’s increase was 1.5%), expanded the number of pre-K enhanced slots, and increased the book budget for the D.C. Public Library. You can find out more about the Committee’s work here. However, we still have so much more to do not only in education but throughout the entire government.

This is why I support stopping the estate tax cut, which will only benefit approximately 150 families in the District of Columbia, and cost the District $12 million in annual revenue. I also support a new proposal by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute of stopping the implementation of the business franchise tax reduction for businesses earning $5 million or more in annual revenue. This would save the District approximately $21 million per year that we could put right back into education, social services, and the arts and humanities. We can also use this money to plan for potential federal funding losses due to Trump’s reckless policies and heartless budget proposal.

Let the Council know that the wealthy should not benefit while our education system, social services, and arts and humanities communities suffer. E-mail and call your Councilmembers and let them know that you support stopping the estate tax cut permanently, and only allowing the business franchise tax cut to be implemented for businesses earning under $5 million in annual revenue. This will provide much needed investments across the District of Columbia.