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D.C.'s Financial Fallout From Government Shutdown Still Unclear

Pedestrians walk past a barricade preventing them from entering the World War II Memorial during the shutdown on Oct. 2.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Pedestrians walk past a barricade preventing them from entering the World War II Memorial during the shutdown on Oct. 2.

It remains unclear how badly the 16-day government shutdown damaged D.C.'s finances.

It is estimated the District lost millions in sales tax revenue as hotel rooms and restaurant tables stayed empty because federal workers and tourists stayed home. Furloughed workers lost wages that they will receive in back pay, so lost income tax revenues will come later.

Testifying at a Council hearing today, the District's chief economist Fitzroy Lee said all the numbers aren't in yet.

"Unfortunately we are not going to know the actual revenue impact until December," Lee says.

City Administrator Allen Lew said the District's contingency fund was spent to pay employees.

At the beginning of the shutdown, there was approximately $150 million available in the contingency reserve fund. The office of the Chief Financial Officer estimated that the District spends approximately $10 million per day on employees salaries.

The fund has since been mostly replenished. D.C. incurred no major expenses during the shutdown, other than spending about $100,000 picking up trash on federal park lands.


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