Washington’s chief financial officer presented a revised revenue report Wednesday showing the coronavirus did not damage the city’s bottom line as much as previously feared — but will likely hurt worse than expected in 2021, as the pandemic remains uncontrolled.
When the city first estimated how the virus would shatter its budget, CFO Jeffrey DeWitt said, top officials assumed the business restrictions imposed because of the pandemic would end by the Fourth of July. Now he predicts the city won’t return to normalcy until the population is vaccinated, which is expected to be around the fall of 2021.
Based on that, DeWitt revised his estimate for the city’s revenue downward Wednesday, projecting a 2021 shortfall of $211 million. That’s on top of the nearly $800 million shortfall in both fiscal 2020 and 2021 he predicted in April. The D.C. Council already made changes to accommodate the initial shortfall in its $16.7 billion 2021 budget, of which local officials control $8.5 billion.