Each fiscal year, the mayor and DC Council decide how to raise and allocate the District’s resources through the budget, with input from residents about what is important to them.
As budget pressures loom—including the WMATA budget shortfall, expiring federal relief funds for schools, union contracts that must be renegotiated, and declining commercial property tax collections—DC lawmakers will need to meet the moment by finding equitable funding sources to meet residents’ urgent needs and address extreme inequality. This will mean prioritizing budget savings, and any surpluses, for meeting residents’ basic needs and strengthening the District’s ability to tax its outsized concentration of wealth.
DC’s fiscal year begins October 1 and ends September 30. In the spring, the Mayor presents a budget to the Council, which then reviews, changes, and approves it before it is sent back to the Mayor to sign into law and submitted to the US Congress, which can choose to modify or reject it.
This guide breaks down the process of how DC creates its budget, including how to read budget documents and where in the process residents can influence the decisions of elected officials. Read it here.
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