What Mayor’s Proposed Budget Means for Georgetown

“It was the hardest budget I’ve had to put together yet,” Mayor Bowser told the D.C. Council on April 3 as she presented to the 2025 District budget detailing $21 billion in operating funds and $11.8 billion in capital improvement funding for fiscal 2025

“But it is balanced — as is required by law,” said the third-term mayor said. “And it is fair with everyone having to compromise and even sacrifice a little. It cuts some $500 million from existing city programs, eliminates or substantially reduces eight and raises new tax revenue without increasing commercial or residential property or income taxes.”

Among the programs to be eliminated was funding for the DC Circulator bus system. “We weren’t able to save the Circulator but we did save WMATA,” Bowser said.

The new 400-page budget #FairShot — that must be approved by the Council and undergo a federal review by Congress — focuses on three priorities referred to as Bowser’s “Three Pillars of Long Term Growth”:  public safety, public education and revitalizing the downtown. According to Bowser, the new budget would change the downward revenue trajectory and a $4-billion shortfall that the District is presently facing due to the end of special Covid federal funds, a decrease in tax revenue due to commercial vacancies and rising costs for everything.

Subtitled “Strategic Investments and Shared Sacrifices,” the budget was called “smart” by the mayor. “It strategically chooses the best investments [aka expenditures] based on how efficiently each moves us closer to the D.C. we want to be five years from now,” she said.

“The D.C. budget goals related to public safety and education as well as to parks and recreation centers, the unhoused, and transportation, align with our neighborhood priorities,” wrote the Georgetown-Burleith-Hillandale Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC 2E) in a resolution to the mayor that was passed at its April 1 meeting.

The resolution outlines the budget requests in the new budget that are of high priority to Georgetown. They include funding for projects in Public Safety such as “enhancing Metropolitan Police Department officer hiring and retention; and funding the Secure Act, developed by Ward 2 Council Representative Brook Pinto to increase accountability for crime and violence via enhanced government oversight among other things.” City wide efforts to provide more public lighting and to maintain a Real Time Crime Center serving the various law enforcement agencies in Georgetown are also top public safety concerns, it was pointed out in the resolution.

Education priorities that aligned included supporting student literacy, increasing student attendance and making sure capital improvements and school funding were equitable. Safe school transportation and confirmed full funding for McArthur High School were also included in the ANC’S resolution.

Parks and Recreation neighborhood enhancements singled out in the ANC budget priorities included the Jelleff Recreation Center, Volta Park playing field, Ellington playing field and Book Hill Park development.

Commissioners requested that additional  funding be considered for WMATA and to ensure adequate staffing to help the unhoused find housing.

In the next two months, the D.C. Council is expected to make changes to the budget via hearings and agency reviews. Then, the process allows the mayor to either sign or veto the budget before it undergoes a 30-day Congressional review.


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