(Washington, DC) – Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today unveiled the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget proposal, entitled “Getting the Job Done.” The $9.4 billion spending plan, which includes $5.66 billion in local funds, is the District’s 13th consecutive balanced budget.
“We’ve gone line by line through every single agency to protect the investment our constituents make in their government,” said Mayor Fenty. “We’re cutting costs where we can, while improving services for all District residents – especially those in most need. Our budget team, led by City Administrator Dan Tangherlini, has done an excellent job of putting this plan together.”
More than ever, the administration will economize the way the District Government works. Typically, the starting point for a proposed budget is the previous year’s funding level for services plus increases for salaries, fixed costs and financing. This alone would have reflected a 5.7percent growth. But the FY 2009 local budget limits growth to less than 0.7percent.
In addition, $15 million in property tax relief is directed to commercial property owners, with more than half reserved for smaller properties, with additional relief phased in over three years. When fully implemented, the commercial property tax rate will be reduced from $1.85 to $1.80 for properties valued at $3 million or more and those valued under $3 million as of Jan. 1, 2008, will see rate reduction to $1.40.
The spending plan makes significant investments in the areas of education; public safety; affordable housing, jobs and economic development; healthcare and human services; infrastructure and environment; and government operations and financing.
- $773 million for DC Public Schools
- $532 million for individual schools (up from $493 million)
- Comprehensive staffing for each school, increasing art, music, physical education, pre-K and Head Start teachers; social workers; psychologists; literary and math coaches
- Expanded services toward pre-K for all
- Enhanced professional development and intervention for teachers
- Increased opportunities for extended learning, in Saturday Scholars, Extended Day and summer school
- $23.2 million (totaling $169 million over 6-year plan period) to DC Public Libraries for various facility renovations and construction of Anacostia, Benning, Tenley-Friendship, and Watha T. Daniel-Shaw and Georgetown neighborhood branch libraries.
- $6.5 million to reach 4,200 sworn police officers
- $763,000 to civilianize 12 police positions
- $7.7 million for police, fire and communications technology
- $2.5 million for ShotSpotter gun detection and closed-circuit television cameras
- $3.6 million to implement recommendations of Mayor’s Task Force on Emergency Medical Services – including paramedic training curriculum
- $1.5 million for 96 units of supportive housing for domestic violence victims
Jobs, Economic Development and Affordable Housing
- A total of $60.8 million is committed to affordable housing in Fiscal Year 2009.
- $19 million to add 500 more residents to Home Purchase Assistance program (closing cost and down payment assistance)
- $19 million housing First Fund for supportive housing and human services for the homeless
- $4 million to enhance social services at New Communities
- Unified housing fund created for maximum flexibility in financing new affordable housing projects
- $10 million to finance 37-72 units of affordable housing through a land-acquisition financing program not used in 10 years
- $150,000 for searchable database of rental housing orders
- $500,000 to improve information-sharing among agencies that issue licenses and permits
- $6.9 million to expand Summer Youth Employment Program to include summer jobs for all qualified applicants
- $5.9 million to eliminate waiting list for job training
Healthcare and Human Services
- New investments in HIV/AIDS, childhood obesity, substance abuse, diabetes prevention
- $4.5 million for kinship care to keep children out of the foster care system
- $2.5 million for mental health services in child welfare
- Sign language interpreters, captioning and expanded taxi service for people with disabilities
- $5.2 million to move disabled residents into their own homes
- Intensive medical case management for high-risk patients in their own homes
- $2.5 million to increase Health Care Alliance reimbursement rates for primary care
- $5 million for infrastructure improvement at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital
- $24.8 million toward the construction of a state-of-the-art mental hospital
Infrastructure and Environment
- $550,000 to consolidate lead management programs into Department of the Environment
- Mixing fuel for all District Government heavy vehicles with 20% vegetable oil to improve emissions
- $60 million (projects totaling $367 million over 6-year plan period) for street, alley and lighting improvements.
- Increasing traffic control officers by 27% and school crossing guards by 75%
- MetroExtra bus service for 16th Street
- SmarTrip technology optional in driver’s licenses and non-driver ID cards
- Department of Motor Vehicles kiosks in neighborhoods for simple transactions
- $55.8 million to Department of Parks and Recreation for renovations to recreation centers, playing fields, tennis courts, pools and other facilities (totaling $270 million over 6-year plan period).
Government Operations and Financing
- $7.4 million to digitize 40 million government documents in a centralized scanning center
- $3.6 million for the Poverty Lawyer Assistance Fund
- $5 million for Office of Property Management to take over administration of schools affected by school consolidation, converting to government offices where possible
- $750,000 to improve retirement system for District Government employees
- Increase District’s Earned Income Tax Credit from 35% to 40%, effectively eliminating income taxes for families making $25,000 a year or less.
Here is the fiscal 2009 budget proposal in its entirety: FY 2009 Budget.