Protesters Want Tax Increases, Not Budget Cuts

By Tom Sherwood
|  Friday, Mar 25, 2011  |  Updated 8:15 PM EDT
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A budget protest in downtown <a title=Washington." />

Tom Sherwood

A budget protest in downtown Washington.

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Dozens of demonstrators crowded into a District government building Friday, chanting and cheering to in protest to looming budget cuts.

It was likely a protest in vain, City Administrator Allen Lew said. He said significant budget cuts are coming.

Members of the group Save Our Safetynet wanted to see Mayor Vincent Gray, who has warned of looming budget cuts next week. SOS carried food to warn that the city's most needy citizens need help surviving in tough economic times.

Gray was in the building, but it was his budget director, Eric Goulet, who engaged the demonstrators in the hallway. SOS wants tax increases on higher income earners rather than budget cuts.

Gray recently indicated that he is shying away from significant income tax increases, saying the city is trying to build its economic base to help all residents.

About a dozen police officers stood by during the protest, but there were no serious incidents or any arrests.

The mayor's budget goes to the D.C. Council April 1.

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