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Gandhi: D.C. Facing $131 Million Revenue Shortfall

The District has identified a $131 million revenue shortfall, which will force the city to cut funding for programs in fiscal year 2009, said sources who have been briefed on the matter by D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi.

The shortfall is due largely to income taxes, which have fallen off projections because of the troubles in the stock market, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because Gandhi intends to announce the figures at a news conference Wednesday.

The city, which had enjoyed large surpluses for years, had its first shortfall in the spring, when Gandhi announced a $35 million budget gap for fiscal 2009, which begins next month. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and the D.C. Council made up that divide in part by raising taxes on cigarettes by $1 per pack.

However, the new shortfall might not be as easy to swallow. The city is projected to have $17 million left over from fiscal 2008, the sources said, but the rest of the gap likely will have to be bridged by budget cuts or tax hikes.

The only solace, one D.C. official said, was that "it's not as bad as in Virginia."

Fenty declined to comment this evening as he left the John A. Wilson Building. Gandhi could not be reached.

By David A Nakamura  |  September 23, 2008; 7:43 PM ET
Categories:  City Finances  
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so ... who's going to be held accountable for this one?

Posted by: southyrndiva | September 23, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Why is Ghandi still employed?

You cannot blame fiscal shortage? But why does this always shock him. With all the people looking for jobs? Shouldn't he be one?

Posted by: Ghandi Shock | September 24, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

I hope that the Council takes a hard look at this. How is the District government spending its money? The summer youth program needed additional funds, DDOT is $60M in deficit, OPM is $13M in deficit, DHS is making some tough staffing decisions, DHCD has financial challenges, and you know that CFSA has to be struggling. Is there any District agency that was actually able to stay within their budget?

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The elected officials in this government are a total failure. The Executive has failed to properly administer the taxpayers money, and the Council refused to exercise it oversight authority and stop him from spendintg like a drunken sailor. Linda Cropp tried to warn us, but we did not listen.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 24, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

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