Earlier this week, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute released some interesting analysis of the pending surplus from the FY12 DC city budget. Ed Lazere writes, “The surplus will be at least $140 million, and some speculate it will be as large as $400 million. The surplus will create an opportunity to make a number of important investments that would strengthen the city.”
WIN leaders agree.
Last year the DC Council voted to put priorities such as $1.7 million to house homeless youth, and $10 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund on the “contingency list” in case of a budget surplus. The good news is there is indeed a surplus. WIN leaders must prepare to act to ensure those promises made last summer come. Without action elected officials are likely attempt to use this surplus to needlessly bolster the DC’s reserve fund – which is already larger than the vast majority of states.
It is not responsible to put the surplus into a “rainy day fund” when it is already pouring outside for too many DC residents. It is time to use our city’s surplus to invest in housing and services for our youth, homeless neighbors, and the Housing Production Trust Fund. WIN calls on elected leaders to show the courage to choose to spend the reserve to meet human needs and preserve the economic diversity in Washington DC, making it a DC for all people.