Just minutes after becoming mayor, Vince Gray said he's open to raising taxes. The former D.C. Council chairman was asked during a news conference following the inauguration if raising taxes is "on the table" to help fix a $480 million budget gap expected for the next fiscal year. Gray's response: "It's pretty close to the table." He then added, "We have to consider all options." It was only last month that Gray argued against tax increases as the council debated measures designed to raise taxes ?-- one across the board, the other on the rich -- to help fix a $188 million gap in the current fiscal year's budget.

Advocates for the poor had rallied around raising taxes to help stave off cuts that Gray, as council chairman, and then-Mayor Adrian Fenty had proposed to social services. But during an impassioned speech, Gray responded saying that although the decisions to make the cuts were difficult, they had to be done to continue to make sure the city was "fiscally solid." He said the city couldn't return to the tax-and-spend mentality of the 1990s that drove the District into financial ruin and under the power of the federally appointed control board.

"We're pretending the Grim Reaper is not at the door," Gray said as he argued against a tax increase in December. "The Grim Reaper is at the door, and I will not sit here and be part of any exercise that results in a control board coming back to the District of Columbia."