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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 the 2021 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.

The District’s asset management system, the Capital Asset Replacement Scheduling System (or CARSS), contains a detailed inventory of all District-owned assets, including land, buildings, roads and streets, vehicles, and equipment. This system provides the basis for developing the District’s capital improvement plan as part of the annual budget process and determining the cost of deferred maintenance for current assets.

The District is now generally recognized as having 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:
  • $13.5 billion of total capital needs identified; approximately $9 billion of those needs are funded in the FY 2022-2027 CIP
  • $4.5 billion of unfunded capital needs remain during the six-year CIP period, of which approximately $1.5 billion is deferred maintenance (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 4% on pay-as-you-go cash funding), with the remaining 84% going to operations and programs, all unmet capital needs can be funded as early as FY 2031, if no additional capital projects are added before addressing currently identified unmet needs. However, if additional capital projects are added before addressing current unmet needs, then the timeline to catch up with unmet needs will be extended to at least 2033.
  • Significant borrowing capacity will start to become available after FY 2027, as bonds are paid off and the District’s economy grows.
  • 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’s financial position remains strong. Due to strong levels of reserves prior to the pandemic, continued high bond ratings, and fully funded pensions and OPEB trusts, the District is in the enviable position of being   able to continue to address its deferred maintenance and new infrastructure needs.

For more information, view the 2021 Long-Range Capital Financial Plan Report.

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

Prior Reports