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D.C. Lost Millions During Shutdown, But True Cost Will Be Known In December

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 during the federal government shutdown.

But at a D.C. Council hearing on Friday, the city's chief economist, Fitzroy Lee, said all the numbers aren't in yet. He pointed out that while furloughed workers lost wages, they will receive back pay—and the city will get income tax revenue.

"Unfortunately we are not going to know the actually revenue impact until December," he said.

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 dollars 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," he said.

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—money that D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray won't be asking to be reimbursed.


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