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Office of the Chief Financial Officer Long-Range Capital Financial Plan Report

Briefing Summary of District of Columbia
Long-Range Capital Financial Plan Report

 
Background
The Office of the Chief Financial Officer has released its 2020 Long-Range Capital Financial Plan Report. The report looks at current assets, their condition, future capital needs, and funding availability to develop a long-range plan to address all identified capital needs of the District in the shortest possible time period.

The District’s asset management system, also known as the Capital Asset Replacement Scheduling System (or CARSS), contains a detailed inventory of all District-owned assets, including all land, buildings, roads and streets, vehicles and equipment. Condition assessments on all assets have either been completed, or are in progress, with full completion expected by the end of FY 2022. This system forms the basis to develop the District’s capital improvement plan as part of the budget process and to determine the cost of deferred maintenance for current assets.

It is now generally recognized that the District has the most complete capital asset management system of any state or local government in the country. This system has been noted by the bond rating agencies as a key factor in the maintenance of the District’s high bond ratings, including a “Aaa” rating from Moody’s.
 
Key Highlights include:
  • $12.5 billion of total capital needs identified; approximately $8.2 billion of those needs are funded in the FY 2021-2026 CIP.
  • $4.3 billion of unfunded capital needs remain during the six-year CIP period, of which approximately $1.45 billion is deferred maintenance. The total amount of unmet capital needs is roughly $1 billion higher than identified in last year’s report due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the District’s capital budget. See page 6 of the report to see the general categories of deferred maintenance.
  • Long-Range Capital Financial Plan shows that if the District commits 16% of its general fund budget to capital (12% to support debt service on borrowings and an average of nearly 4% on pay-as-you-go cash funding), with the remaining 84% going to operations and programs, all unmet capital needs can be funded by FY 2031, including all deferred maintenance. This is three years longer than identified in the prior year’s report due to the impact of the coronavirus on District revenues and borrowing capacity.
  • Significant borrowing capacity will start to become available after FY 2027, as bonds are paid off and the District’s economy continues to grow, that can be used to fund new capital projects needed to support continued growth in the city.
  • The lower cost of borrowing afforded the District by its strong bond ratings, which are currently Aaa/AA+/AA+ (Moody’s, S&P and Fitch, respectively) allows for greater borrowing to address capital needs.
  • Despite the significant impact of the coronavirus on the District’s economy and capital budget, the District is likely in the best position of any state or local government in the country to continue to address its deferred maintenance and new infrastructure needs due to the strong levels of reserves it enjoyed prior to the coronavirus, continued high bond ratings, and fully funded pensions and OPEB trusts.

For more information, view the 2020 Long-Range Capital Financial Plan Report.

The full report can also be found at www.DCbonds.com.

Prior Reports