D.C. Deficit Forecast Getting Worse: Gandhi

Property tax revenue falling

WASHINGTON -- D.C.'s chief financial officer expects the city to collect $500 million less in revenue over the next two years than he estimated three months ago, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Natwar Gandhi announced "an economic tsunami" has hit the city's budget and the District will not be able to avoid the sluggish economic conditions from which the rest of the country is suffering, the Journal reported. He warned that a deep recession likely will continue into the second half of 2010.

Gandhi reduced his estimate for fiscal year 2009 by $136 million and fiscal year 2010 by $346 million, the Journal reported. This follows a pattern of reduced estimates every quarter since June.

The new deficit for the current year should be covered by federal stimulus money, Gandhi said, but $178 million in stimulus dollars for the 2010 budget will leave a remaining $425 million shortfall, according to the Journal.

Gandhi attributed the deficit to falling property tax revenues, the Journal reported.

On the bright side, at least D.C. isn't Virginia or Maryland. The District's neighbors are in worse shape, Gandhi said.

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