Budget Autonomy


About the Project

The District must provide services to more than 600,000 residents, as well as workers who commute into the city. Yet as the nation’s capital, the District cannot collect income tax from nonresident workers, nor can it tax the disproportionate number of federal and nonprofit properties within its boundaries. The federal government does not compensate the city for these limitations; it also prohibits the District from spending its own local dollars without congressional approval. This prolongs the District’s budget process, hampers long-term planning, and means that a federal government shutdown threatens basic city services. DC Appleseed has long advocated for the federal government to compensate the District for federally-imposed revenue limitations. We are also advocating for the District to gain budget autonomy so that it does not have to wait for a congressional appropriation to use revenue paid by local residents and businesses to fund local services.

Project Staff and Partners

Staff Contact: Walter Smith, Kevin Hilgers

Pro Bono Partners: Arent Fox LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP

Recent Budget Autonomy News

Budget Autonomy Project Library