DC Has a Surprise $552 Million Budget Surplus Despite Covid. What Gives? | Washingtonian

February 16, 2021
  • D.C. Policy Center
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Photo/Aimee Custis. Used with permission

On February 16, 2021, D.C. Policy Center Executive Director Yesim Sayin Taylor was quoted by Washingtonian:

Though the covid pandemic has hammered the Washington region’s economy, the DC government finished its 2020 fiscal year with a surplus of more than half a billion dollars. How is that possible? What does it say about about the local economy? We put those questions to Yesim Taylor, the executive director of the DC Policy Center. 

Taylor explains that, in the end, the city’s 2020 tax revenues didn’t fall as precipitously as its chief financial officer had feared, slipping by only $290 million, instead of the $722 million drop that had been expected, according to an analysis Taylor wrote for the Federal City Council. 

The better-than-expected revenue picture was driven by a 5 percent increase in property tax receipts, a 13 percent jump in corporate franchise tax receipts, and a 3 percent increase in individual income tax receipts, according to Taylor’s analysis. The income tax growth was due to stock market gains, as well as the taxable benefits that were dispersed during the crisis, including stimulus payments and unemployment assistance. 

Read more: DC Has a Surprise $552 Million Budget Surplus Despite Covid. What Gives? | Washingtonian

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Established in 2016, the D.C. Policy Center is a non-partisan research and policy organization committed to advancing policies for a strong and vibrant economy in the District of Columbia. Through rigorous research and collaboration, the D.C. Policy Center develops and tests policy ideas, disseminates its findings, and engages in constructive dialogue and debate.

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