Memo for fiscal year 2019, updated 2018-04-17

[Archived] Question #63: Provide an overview of the funding impact of the state legislation related to WMATA capital funding.


Provide an overview of the funding impact of the state legislation related to WMATA capital funding.


The purpose of this memorandum is to provide City Council with an overview of changes to regional transportation funding sources and the funding impact of State legislation related to funding capital contributions for WMATA.

The State budget legislation related to long-term funding of WMATA’s capital needs currently under consideration has two significant impacts on the City: 1) the requirement of a local match by jurisdictions, and 2) the reduction of NVTA 30% funds available to jurisdictions. There is competing State legislation, so this memo assumes a “worst case” outcome.

The City’s local match for new State WMATA capital funding totals $4.3 million in FY 2019. NVTA 30% funding available to jurisdictions is decreasing, as the City’s share of the grantor’s tax and transient occupancy tax will be diverted to fund the state’s increase in their capital funding contributions to WMATA. This diversion results in the loss of up to $2.2 million of NVTA 30% funding in FY 2019 that the City typically uses for public transportation capital projects (WMATA Capital Contributions and DASH Bus Fleet Replacement). 

In addition to the impacts of pending State legislation, the City’s WMATA capital subsidy has increased by $0.7 million since the budget was proposed due to the changes in the subsidy allocation formula used by WMATA to calculate each jurisdiction’s capital subsidy. In total, this results in a $7.2 million funding gap for public transportation capital funding in FY 2019.

BMQ - 63 - WMATA Capital Fund Solution 1

For FY 2019, the $7.2 million funding gap can be addressed without reducing expenditures through the use of one-time sources restricted for transportation purposes, specifically NVTA 30% fund balance ($6.2 million), and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) designated fund balance ($0.7 million). In addition to these sources, the latest revenue estimates available result in an increase in sales tax revenue designated to NVTA 30% of $0.3 million, which will address the remaining funding gap.

BMQ - 63 - WMATA Capital Fund Solution 2

The NVTA 30% and TIP prior-year balances reflect dedicated transportation funding received over multiple years that were not appropriated or appropriated but not spent. To address this funding gap in FY 2019 will draw down the remainder of these sources. Addressing FY 2020 and beyond will be considered as part of the FY 2020 – FY 2029 CIP Development Process, and may involve changes in expenditures and funding sources that encompass both transportation related funding sources, general City cash capital, and borrowing sources.

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