Jack Evans Report: Gov’t and Biz
Every now and then, I like to share some of the nuts and bolts of what our government does behind the scenes. We can all think of a situation where we wished our government would function more efficiently on our behalf, and I make it my job to ensure that areas that need improvement are addressed. In many instances, however, our government is actually making positive changes and doing a great job in ways our residents might never realize.
One of those instances relates to our bond issuances, and not just our rating upgrades that I talk so much about. One of the ways the District government helps our residents is by offering an industrial revenue bond program. This program works by allowing businesses and non-profit organizations access to tax-exempt financing that essentially leverages the strong financial position and reputation of the District government to allow organizations to borrow money at lower interest rates for major projects.
This money helps these organizations with renovations and new construction, real estate purchases, equipment, and other capital needs. Since I have been on the Council, we have assisted worthy businesses and non-profits in issuing over $8.6 billion in revenue bonds, to the benefit of every ward in the city. I am happy to report the tremendous diversity in these projects, from universities such as Georgetown, Howard and Gallaudet; to public and charter schools such as Washington Yu Ying and Kipp Academy; to organizations, such as National Public Radio and the Spy Museum.
On Nov. 13, I chaired a hearing of the Committee on Finance & Revenue to add two more potential issuances to this long list of great projects. PR 20-531, the “Paul Public Charter School, Inc. Revenue Bonds Project Approval Resolution of 2013,” would permit up to $20 million of District of Columbia revenue bonds to help renovate this school at 5800 8th Street, N.W., in Ward 4. PR 20-532, the “National Children’s Center Bonds Project Approval Resolution of 2013,” would authorize up to $8 million of revenue bonds to assist the National Children’s Center in renovating their facility located at 3400 Martin Luther King, Jr., Ave., S.E., in Ward 8. The Center is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive and innovative services for infants, children and adults with developmental disabilities in the District of Columbia.
William Liggins and his team at the D.C. Revenue Bond Program in the office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development are to be commended for their good work in administering this program, and I encourage any eligible organizations in the city to reach out if they might benefit from this program.