WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Shutdown Cost Region Millions In Lost Business And Revenue, Say Leaders

With the federal government shutdown over, area leaders may be breathing a sigh of relief. Still, they say, the nearly three-week federal government shutdown has cost local governments millions in lost tax revenue and devastated local businesses.

On Wednesday Mayor Vince Gray met with the leaders of Fairfax, Montgomery and Prince George's counties at the Wilson Building. The group, which featured Gray, Sharon Bulova, Rushern Baker and Isiah Leggett, held a joint conference where new numbers on the shutdown's effect were unveiled.

In D.C., Gray said, there was an eight percent drop in hotel bookings as many tourists decided to stay home with so many closed memorials and museums. In Fairfax, meanwhile, sales tax revenue nosedived, and Bulova expects a $25 million shortfall in the upcoming year's budget. For Montgomery County, home to 70,000 federal workers, the hit came to $500,000 a day in lost revenue.

Even a sliver of good news had a dark tinge to it: in D.C., the only revenue that increased came from alcohol taxes, said Gray.

The lost business and revenue had Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker shaking his head. "This is self-induced… that's the thing that gets all of us as we look around. We didn't have to have this, we didn't have to go through this process," he said.

The leaders say even if congress decides to compensate furloughed government employees with back pay, the damage—in terms of lost tax revenues—is already done.


Poetry Behind Bars: The Lines That Save Lives — Sometimes Literally

Words Unlocked, a poetry contest for juveniles in corrections, has drawn more than 1,000 entries. Its judge, Jimmy Santiago Baca, says it was a poetry book that helped him survive his own prison term.

When It Came To Food, Neanderthals Weren't Exactly Picky Eaters

During the Ice Age, it seems Neanderthals tended to chow down on whatever was most readily available. Early humans, on the other hand, maintained a consistent diet regardless of environmental changes.

Trump And Cruz Campaign At California GOP Convention

The remaining Republican presidential candidates have been making their case at the party's state convention. Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler explains the divisions on display among Republicans.

'The Guardian' Launches New Series Examining Online Abuse

A video was released this week where female sports journalists were read abusive online comments to their face. It's an issue that reaches far beyond that group, and The Guardian is taking it on in a series called "The Web We Want." NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with series editor Becky Gardiner and writer Nesrine Malik, who receives a lot of online abuse.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.