City Desk

Study: D.C. Fared Better Than Most Cities During Recession

A new study examining how 30 cities in the country weathered the Great Recession is out this afternoon and, thanks to lots of federal money, D.C. fared better than most.

The District received an additional $1.1 billion in government aid between 2008-2011, according to the The Pew Charitable Trusts study, "America’s Big Cities in Volatile Times." This helped offset a loss of revenue from other sources; during this period the District lost $29 million in property taxes, $171 million in income taxes, $25 million in sales taxes, and $63 million in other taxes.

The District, the study says, received more money from the federal government because it operates as both a city, state, and district. For instance, the city gets grants from programs like Medicaid, which typically go to states, and which increased significantly under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

This doesn't mean the local government actually profited. D.C. spent more on social services, health, education, public safety in this years, forcing the city to dip into its reserve.

And the Pew study warns that because federal spending took a dip a in 2012 and sequestration cuts went into effect in March, there is cause for concern down the line.

"Many [cities] will continue to deal with the aftermath of the nation's recent housing woes and a slow economic recovery," the study concludes. "In addition, cuts in federal and state aid and greater demand for services portend a challenging road ahead for America's cities."

Read the whole thing below:

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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