Brooke's Briefing: The Council Holds First Budget Vote on Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Legislation

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
July 20, 2021

Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Ward2

Opening Remarks

Dear Neighbor,

Today, the Council convened for the first budget votes on the Fiscal Year 2022 Local Budget Support Act of 2021 and the Fiscal Year 2022 Local Budget Act of 2021, legislation that will dictate the spending of our local dollars and provide the legislation needed to ensure that our priorities are met.

At the start of this budget cycle, I shared with you my goals of ensuring that we come together to support our small businesses, expand affordable housing options especially for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, empowering women and girls, and making our neighborhoods and communities safer for all residents.

In this letter, I am proud to share with you some of the priorities we are funding to meet the needs of Ward 2 families, residents, and businesses, as well as taking very important steps to improve outcomes in the areas of childcare, education, transportation and sustainability, and the arts for residents across the city.

Councilmember Pinto and her colleagues during the first budget vote on Tuesday, July 20th

Today, I also voted against a tax increase proposed and ultimately passed by my colleagues. I’ve included my reasoning for that vote below at the bottom of this letter.

Again, today was just the first of three budget votes. The next vote will take place on Tuesday, August 3rd, where we will vote on the accompanying federal budget legislation, which directs our spending of federal dollars. We will also take our second and final vote on the Fiscal Year 2022 Local Budget Act of 2021. On Tuesday, August 10th, we will hold our final vote on the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Support Act of 2021.

I am grateful to the many neighbors and individuals whose advocacy helped us to achieve so many of our goals this budget cycle. To watch the upcoming budget votes live, visit

Yours In Service,


Education and Youth Development

Public Recreation and Transportation

Public Safety

Small Business Support and Employment Services

Affordable Housing and Homelessness Supports

An Explanation of Today's Tax Proposal and Vote

After many discussions with advocates across the city for the needs of child care workers and housing vouchers, the Council made historic investments in this year’s budget. Prior to the tax vote the budget included: $100MM for child care subsidy, a pilot program to increase the pay of child care workers, and $42 million dollars for permanent supportive housing vouchers for our neighbors experiencing homelessness to move over 1,500 people into housing. These are needed investments and I am so grateful that through strong collaboration, we were able to secure this needed funding for these extremely important causes.

Today, my colleagues proposed to raise income taxes which I voted against. There is a huge need in the city, and the programs funded through the proposed tax are critically important. However, I don’t believe that circulating a bill that has enormous effects on our tax code less than 24 hours before it receives a vote is how we should legislate – particularly on our tax code.

As a former tax attorney for our city, I do not believe passing an ad hoc tax is the right way to create tax policy. The Council voted to establish a Tax Revision Commission. This entity is entirely devoted to evaluating our tax code, understanding where loopholes and weaknesses exist, and developing evidence-based recommendations to make our tax code equitable. In this way, the Tax Reform Commission is working to ensure that our tax code best serves all residents and considers the District's long-term success within our region.

We should give the Tax Revision Commission a chance to do its job. We know a body like this can bring about effective and immediate change – just look at the Police Reform Commission. Some had doubts about the body when it was first created, but when we entrusted the experts, they went above and beyond what we expected and created a set of recommendations, many of which we are already passing into law. I know that as a city, we must work together to ensure that we maintain our status as a great place to live, work, and play, and I will continue to fight for a pragmatic approach to accomplishing our priorities.

For these reasons, I voted against the tax proposal today.

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