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D.C. Inauguration Costs: $48.5 million

The District government spent $48.5 million on security and other expenses to prepare for and deal with the presidential inauguration, City Administrator Dan Tangherlini said this morning.

That included the following breakdown:

$15 million in commodities and goods
$15.3 million in overtime fees for D.C. police officers
$4.6 million in transportation and lodging of 4,000 police officers from across the country who came to help the city handle the crowds (that included 2,000 hotel rooms in 20 hotels)
$3.6 million in special 800 megahertz radios
$2.9 million for fire and emergency management agency costs
$1.9 million to repave Pennsylvania Avenue
$4.1 million to build the presidential, mayoral, council and media reviewing stands in front of the White House and John A. Wilson Building for the inaugural parade

During a D.C. Council committee oversight hearing, Tangherlini said the city has received $15 million from the federal government last year to defray the costs and is seeking to recoup the additional $33.5 million. Then-President Bush declared the city a state of emergency for the region last month to allow more federal money to go to the city, along with Maryland and Virginia. The city will have to go through a negotiation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to document how it used the funds and request repayment, Tangherlini said.

"The fact that [the inauguration] went so well should help us," he said. "No one can claim we didn't do our part."

So how much revenue did the city make off of the millions of tourists who came for the inauguration? It's not clear yet, but D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi cautioned that officials should not expect a windfall. The amount of sales tax revenue won't be known until Feb. 20 mid-March, after business revenue is reported and processed.

Gandhi said that hotel revenues in the city for the four nights of Jan. 17-20 were $60 million, well more than the $13 million during the same four-day period in 2008. That could mean an additional $7 million in sales tax from hotels alone.

But Gandhi noted that normal activities, such as daily commuters to D.C., ground to a halt and some tourism revenues might be less during other times in this winter because people sent so much during the inaugural week. That could offset whatever revenue gains might have been expected.

"Your testimony takes lemonade and turns it into lemons," D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) said, with a rueful laugh.

By David A Nakamura  |  February 12, 2009; 11:15 AM ET
Categories:  City Finances , Inauguration  
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Comments

"$3.6 million in special 800 megahertz radios."

FOR ONE DAY???? Can't they be rented?

"$4.1 million to build the presidential, mayoral, council and media reviewing stands in front of the White House and John A. Wilson Building for the inaugural parade."

Ummm, is it my imagination, or were these stands BARELY USED during the parade?

The waste of money by the Secret Service is appalling. De-fund them now.

Posted by: bs2004 | February 12, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, whatever the final cost it was a great show. DC did a wonderful job keeping everything safe and moving the right direction. If you work for the City, thanks for doing a great job on the nation's behalf. Sure, they'll indentify some things to do smarter or whatnot .. but doens't detract from the success you all helped bring about.

Posted by: tslats | February 12, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I say to bad. DC is lying and they should receive a dollar. If you foolishly spend money then too bad. There was no need for them to use police from across the country. They could have used police from VA and MD. so they can eat that cost. There was no reason to buy these so called 800mz radios. According to the past few years this should have already been done, especially after 911. 4.1 million to build the bleachers. LOL They build the same bleachers for every event the hold including the 4th of July (another lie) Has anyone bothered to look at the cost they say they paid for OT. If they had EVERY OFFICER working over time for a month it wouldn't total the figure there stating. Lying to the Feds is a crime. Dan Tangherlini should be arrested and charged with lying to a fed official and fraud. Is it any wonder the US is turning into the newest third world country the world has ever seen? Each and every politician is a liar, there so bold they lie about EVERY THING. Unless we band together and vote ALL OF THEM OUT we are resigning our self’s to defeat.

Posted by: askgees | February 12, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

if you ask i feel that obama would reimburse this

Posted by: foobar2 | February 12, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The amount of negativity and ignorance displayed by both askgees and bs2004 is appalling! It's almost laughable!

Posted by: crzytwnman | February 12, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

agreed, crzyt. they're just haters

Posted by: nfbindc | February 12, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The city routinely spends money on Federal activities for which it is insufficiently reimbursed. Unless the Federal payment is exponentially increased to cover the city's legitamate costs related to its activities in support of the Federal Goverment, I think that the Mayor and Council should consider withholding city services in protest!

Posted by: SWadvocate | February 12, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

$48.5 Million in this economy--ridiculous, absolutley ridiculous!

Posted by: skeee33 | February 12, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Good call SWadvocate. An alternative would be for the Federal Government to start paying taxes on its landholdings in the District. Granted, we do get more Federal money than some places, and certainly without the Federal Government, this wouldn't be much of a city. Still, it seems a little unfair that there are a billion and a half non-profits, embassies, and Federal agencies that are tax exempt but still manage to use plenty of resources at the cost of the taxpayers who live here. Don't even get me started on the commuters (or the failed commuter tax)!

Posted by: philb1 | February 12, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

MILK it D.C.! People who know less than diddly-squat about D.C. or any of the planning need to kick rocks.

@bs2004: It was for a four-day period.

I don't like the figures, especially the radios and police overtime. Afterall, there was the Purple Tunnel of Doom and four homicides in the "other" D.C. The mayor and city council should pay for their own stands, perhaps with Marion Barry's backtaxes. And I'd like to know what the heck "commodities and goods" are...

Posted by: alaiyo626 | February 15, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

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