DC’s CFO Says “NO” To Certifying The 2020 Budget

A battle is brewing in the District of Columbia over the city’s 2020 approved budget plan. The City’s Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt says he will not certify the 2020 fiscal budget approved last week by the city council.

The problem DeWitt says is he feels that money is being improperly diverted from funds to repay the Washington Convention Center for repairs for crumbling city public housing complexes.

Reportedly DeWitt made the council aware of his feeling before the vote but leaders moved forward with approving the $15.5 billion dollar budget anyway.

The decision throws the city in turmoil with urgent repairs at public housing units in jeopardy of not getting done. It’s still up in the air about what the City Council will do next. Normally the spending plan is already approved by now.

DeWitt has to certify the budget before it moves to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk or Congress for final approval. The council could be forced to vote on new legislation in order to get the budget certified.

Under the current plan half of the $49 million dollars from the convention centers, reserve funds would go to desperately needed repairs at the city’s public housing complexes. The other half would easy the Mayor’s plan to increase hotel room taxes.

The CFO says that change violates the city’s commitment to bondholders who are expecting excess revenue to go towards repayment to investors. DeWitt, however, did say only $20 million dollars of that money is available for other purposes.

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