D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser claims the president’s event, praised for its focus on the nation’s greatness and saluting the armed services, cost the city fund $1.7 million. She also noted that the city has not received funds for $7.3 million in expenses incurred from the 2017 inauguration.
Bowser, a Democrat, claimed the city would run at a $6 million deficit by September without those reimbursements. The letter was leaked to media on Tuesday. It was unclear if the deficit meant that no more protections would be afforded or if the city would engage in deficit spending while seeking federal reimbursement.
The D.C. Emergency Planning and Security Fund covers public safety at events, offering support for the Secret Service. The deficit number was provided to Bowser by the District’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, which claimed that the costs for the Fourth of July celebration were six times as much as years past. No breakdown information was provided on why costs exceeded past celebrations.
The mayor and city council in Washington, D.C., set local taxes and a budget, which must be approved by Congress. The city government has in the past been criticized for waste and mismanagement of funds, and the high number of tax-exempt properties creates an annual structural deficit that can run as high as $1 billion. Congress typically adds appropriations to the city’s budget to cover certain items.