Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi‘s latest city revenue estimates are in, and guess what: bad news.
For the current fiscal year, which started last Oct. 1, Gandhi is now estimating $17.7 million less in revenue. So what was a projected $223 million budget gap is now $240 million. And for the upcoming fiscal year, the revenue projection is down by $49.4 million from December estimates, meaning a $556 million problem is now a $605 million problem.
In a letter to the mayor and council, Gandhi explained why: ongoing weakness in the real-estate market, for one. But also because the city hasn’t implemented new traffic penalties fast enough, it’s given up some $18 million. And perhaps least surprising: The D.C. Council’s move to hike cigarette taxes backfired; by raising the rates above Maryland’s, Maryland smokers who’d been buying in D.C. switched back to Maryland. That miscue will cost about $15 million below projections in the current fiscal year
Get ready to do this all over again in June!