Washington, DC council revives budget, to mayor's consternation

WASHINGTON, July 14 Mon Jul 14, 2014 3:46pm EDT

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WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) - The Washington, DC city council on Monday overrode Mayor Vincent Gray's veto of the budget it passed last month, rejecting the outgoing mayor's calls for compromise and a new spending plan.

"I am disappointed that the council did not see fit to work with me to craft a reasonable compromise that serves the best interest of District residents," Gray said in a statement.

Gray had vetoed the $10.6 billion budget on Friday, saying it would raise property taxes for seniors, and that its taxes on gyms and yoga classes would discourage residents from maintaining their health. He also criticized the budget for ending tax credits for first-time home buyers and for changing funding for the streetcar system.

Gray had also said the plan would tie future mayors' hands by linking tax cuts to any increases in revenue.

The mayor failed to win the nomination of his Democratic party for another term, which means he will not be in office to implement most of the budget for the fiscal year starting in October.

Even though the override needed just nine of 13 votes, the Washington Post reported that only one council member, Tommy Wells, voted against it. Wells had also voted against the budget initially.

After Friday's veto, the council worked to build public support for the budget, saying that its tax cuts would save individuals earning under $500,000 more than $400. It added that the budget boosted spending on the district's office of aging by $1.25 million and dedicated millions toward ending homelessness.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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