June 3rd, 2021
District of Columbia’s FY2022 Proposed Budget Looks Promising for DC Businesses
Mayor Bowser released the Fiscal Year 2022 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan for the District which includes significant recommended investments and enhancements to programs addressing the needs of residents, workers, and businesses who have all been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We applaud the Mayor for including these new programs and investments to help alleviate the burden businesses have had to endure during this economic downturn and devoting funding to programs that supply security for our workers as we slowly recover from this pandemic-induced recession,” said Angela Franco, President & CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce. “As the review process continues, we encourage the Council to continue to support economic growth and maintain the business supports, the workforce investments, the lower business fees, and partial UPL tax reductions that are included. These types of actions are essential to job growth as we recover.”
The following is a list of proposals that would positively affect businesses should this budget pass:
- Allocation of $990,000 to create a new Tax Revision Commission
- Supporting a one-time reduction in the tax businesses pay for Universal Paid Leave (from .62% to .27%) resulting in $168.2 million returned to businesses in FY22
- Permanently reduce business application fees & proportionately reduce the technology fee charged by DCRA
- Reduction over the next two years of professional and non-health licensing fees to $99
- $24.9 M to support small and medium business coaching, technical assistance hub, and art venues grants
- Allowing the District Government to begin a new fee forgiveness program for biennial corporate reports filed with DCRA
- $15 million to support small businesses and residents whose health insurance premiums are in arrears because of job losses and business slowdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Authorization of specific grants for initiatives like an art district, transportation shuttles, and an innovation district to Anacostia BID, Southwest BID, and the Golden Triangle BID
- Permiting DMPED to issue grants to local business enterprises to support activities that will increase business revenue, help hire more workers, and enhance the viability of those businesses.
- Transfering $114.5 M from the Universal Paid Leave Fund to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, eliminating the need to increase employer contributions any further
- Including $34 M for DMPED grants and loans in support of food businesses in Wards 7 & 8.
- $15 million in cash assistance for workers who do not qualify for federal unemployment assistance
- $10.6 million to attract “high-impact” employers to the District
- Funding over $400 million to the Housing Production Trust Fund over the next few years
- $352 million in rent and utility assistance for renters to prevent evictions through the STAY DC program
- $13 million to increase the local budget of the Department of Behavioral Health to provide increased supports and services to residents experiencing a mental health crisis or substance abuse
- $75 million to continue the District’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic through testing, vaccination, isolation and quarantine sites, cleaning, PPE purchases, and other critical programs and services that would help see the District through the pandemic
Over the next few weeks, the Council will take public testimony on the Mayor’s proposed budget and financial plan. The DC Chamber will continue to review the proposed budget and we intend to testify on the budget in support of budget priorities that will promote economic growth and create jobs. We also encourage Chamber members to offer input to the Council supporting a pro-growth budget.