D.C. is in good shape financially despite the continuing coronavirus pandemic, according to the city’s chief financial officer.
A report from the CFO’s office showed that jobless claims in the District are higher than they were before the pandemic started, but hiring is up, with 14,000 jobs added in December.
“We’ve lost visitors and sales tax revenue,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference Monday, WTOP reported. “But our property tax and our income tax have not been as badly affected as predicted last year.”
The CFO reported to D.C. Council members earlier this month that the District took in an unexpected $526 million as a result of collections of property and income taxes. Nevertheless, the District will likely have deficits for the next two fiscal years due to the effects of the ongoing pandemic on ailing industries such as tourism and hospitality, the CFO said.
The hospitality and food service industries experienced the largest job cuts with both down more than 33% from December 2019, the report said.
The report said commercial office vacancies ticked up 13% from December 2019 and hotel stays in December 2020 were 78% below what they were a year previously.
Despite the uptick in the city’s economy, Bowser expressed concern about struggling Washingtonians.
“Some people haven’t had any impact on their finances,” she said. “And some people have been totally obliterated by the pandemic financially. … Because it is uneven, we haven’t been as impacted because it hasn’t been an across-the-board loss for people.”