Surplus Should Support Georgetown Projects

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Let’s play Connect the Dots.

Three facts:

•This March, according to the D.C. Office of Budget and Planning, Georgetown’s property assessments and taxes increased by one of the highest percentages in the District: 4.52 percent.

•In April, Mayor Muriel Bowser revealed (not too loudly) that D.C. actually has a large and unexpected budget surplus.

•And, last November, the District of Columbia Public Schools suddenly announced that many of the agreed-upon and budgeted renovations for Georgetown’s one and only public elementary school, Hyde-Addison — for which, in the face of nearly unanimous parental disapproval, our children will be bused out of the neighborhood for almost two years because of lack of planning and funds to “swing” them in Georgetown — were going to be eliminated for budgetary reasons.

Anyone else see a connection here?

It seems logical, rational and fair that, given Georgetown’s contribution to the fiscal health of the District, Georgetown should get some priority in how some of those unexpected surplus funds are spent. Maybe even 4.5 percent of them.

While some residents may lobby for future tax breaks or refunds, to be spent on an individual basis, in the spirit of civic improvement perhaps a better idea is for the publicly collected funds to benefit some Georgetown projects first. It would seem fair that at least the approved-then-removed renovations to Hyde-Addison School should be put immediately back into the budget. In addition, funds that should have been budgeted for a swing solution in Georgetown should be allotted to our public school students, who are facing a long bus ride in a district committed to non-busing. Certainly, there are other ideas as well.

Georgetown is a community proud to be an essential part of the District. We are generally liberal and supportive of public government endeavors. We provide for a goodly share of the budget. The mayor should make a commitment that some of the surplus should be graciously and immediately allotted to Georgetown projects.

For which we could say, “You’re welcome.”

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