League of Cities chief urges Congress to raise taxes to help cut deficit
Washington — The head of the National League of Cities says the federal government must raise more revenue to reduce the federal deficit. Mayor Henry Cisneros of San Antonio, Texas, said Monday that his organization has been urging Congress to use the drive for income-tax revision as a way to raise more money to cut the deficit. And he said he believes Congress is beginning to agree.
``What I've heard is that kind of logic, that there will have to be new revenues,'' Mayor Cisneros said, describing his talks with congressional leaders.
Cisneros, the league's new president, said it is impossible to reduce the deficit, increase defense spending, and not raise taxes, unless nearly all domestic programs are scrapped.
In preparation for the organization's meeting in Washington, which began Monday, its board of directors adopted a proposal on Sunday calling for increased federal taxes by closing loopholes and dropping some exemptions in federal income-tax law.
The policy statement, which lists the league's priorities, was to be discussed by members on Monday.
The city officials also urged Congress and President Reagan not to cut federal funds set aside for transportation spending. Local governments rely heavily on that money for road work and mass transit expenses.
The group listed saving the $4.6 billion general revenue-sharing program as its top priority. Money from the program is sent directly to municipalities. Reagan has proposed ending the program this year.
In addition to increased revenue, the city officials said the deficit should be reduced through a freeze on spending, rather than the large-scale cuts in domestic programs, including aid to local governments, that Reagan has proposed for the 1987 fiscal year.