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(2) All of thos. 22 studios and roports, individually or collectively, recognize and discuss certain burdens placed on local governnent resulting fron the unique status of the District of Columbie ... the seat of national government and • jurisdiction with state and local governnent responsibilities.

(3) All of these studies and reports acknowledge • federal responsibility to make available on regular basi. • significant federal payment toward local government expenditures.

(4) All of th. 22 studios, reports, and related documents,
collectively considered, include observations and
reconnondations advocating that the federal paynent be (a)
annual, (b) predictable, (c) encourage optinun officiency
and effort in local revenue developnent and operations, and
(d) enanate from • rational, equitable, and mutually
accoptable procedure. 2

As such, the first three assertions provide a franework for any

conceptual justification for the federal paynent and the fourth assertion provides a frenework for addressing the regularity and

anount of the federal paynent.

More specifically, the rationale for the federal payment has

been offered from thr.. primary perspectivos:3

The State Surrogato


The Federal Interest

The Cost of the Federal Presence

Each of these different perspectives acknowledges, in some way,

the economic burdens inherent in the unparalleled status of the

District of Columbia.

The State Surrogate

The justification of the foderal paynont on the basis of the "State Surrogate" rationale recognizes that the District of

Coluabi. is the only city which suffers from the lack of economic

support from a state.

Other na jor citie, can benefit fron the

nore diverse econonis resource base of the states in which they

are located; but the District of Columbia, in its role as the nation's capital, derivas no such statewide benefits.

The District of Columbia, us is the case with many najor

cities, is a connunications center; it is a financial center; it

is a cultural center; and it provides a host of other diverse advantages for the region and for the nation. While the District provides inconing nonruident workers and visitors with the

anenities of a major city, it is denied the opportunity to shift

nuch of the associated costs to nany of those who nay benefit

fron its service.

Th. fiscal disadvantagos suffered by the District of Columbia

in this regard have been exacerbated by trends, during the past

two decades, towards shifting various functional and financial

responsibilities from localities to the state governments.


trend is even more pronounced for larger cities.

For exanple,

cities with populations over 500,000, the category in which the

District would fall, transferred an average of 4.2

responsibilities, in contrast to the average transfer of 1.8

67-297 O - 87 - 23

responsibilities for the loast populous citi...

It is within the foregoing analytical structure that the

federal governaent is called upon to act as the “State surrogate"

for the nation', capital.

In describing the funding requirements

of the District of Columbia, the Advisory Connission on Inter

governmental Relations assorted that

the city is still at a net fiscal disadvantage as it is unable to benefit from the opportunity to shift certain expenditure functions (e.g. highways, education at all lovels, welfare) to . State. It is within this general franowork that the Federal payment is dotornined annually.5

Thus, the federal paynent is justified under the current statu.

of the District of Columbia as the only city that is not part of

a state.

Should the entity which is now the District of Columbia

achieve statehood under the proposed legislation to establish the

state of New Columbia, the econonic and financial considerations

of the "State surrogate" would not necessarily be removed.


political transformation to statehood would not inherently expand

or diversify the econonic base for the state of New Columbia,

especially since the geographical boundaries are constrained.

Consequently, the economic underpinnings of the "State surrogate" rationale would be applicable with regard to the state of New

Columbia, and the federal paynent would continue to be justified. The Federal Interest

The second rationalization for tho annual fodoral paynont to

the District of Coluabio is based upon the concept of "the

Federal interest".

The idea that the federal paynent to the

District of Columbia i. warranted due to "the Federal interest"

refers to the expectation of the efficient and effective

provision of broad range of municipal and governnental services

in the nation's capital.

The Federal interest, according to • study by the League of

Wonen Voters,

... onbracos nor, than sinpl. protection or ovon adequat. functioning. It also describes the desire of the Congress, the Federal governnent and the people of the nation as • whole for • capital of which they can be proud. The concept sets • high standard for the appearance and good none of the city. 6

As stated, the federal interest includes the pronotion of and

support for the District of Columbia as • positive model for

Anor ican cities.

Additionally, the fodoral interest includes a recognition of

the unique and significant denands upon the District of Columbia

due to the numerous and conplex transaction, associated with the

functioning of the federal government.

At a minimun, there is a

federal interest in the physical infrastructure of the city:

there is a federal interest in a high level of health and

sanitation services, and there is a federal interest in the

adequate provision of police, fire and other protective servicos.

Moreover, the federal interest in • high level of nunicipal

services in and around the nation's capital extends beyond the

support necessary for the day-to-day operations of the, federal governnent to include the federal interest in support of an

atmosphere that is conducive to the conduct of u wider range of

related enterprises. These enterprises require the District to respond to a variety of differing needs and activities of the

federal government, both donostic and international in scope.


is in the federal interest to po

ide financial support for the

nation's capital in all of these endeavors.

The view of the federal interest in financial support for the

District of Colunbia was articulated in the "Report of the

Connission on the Organization of the Government of the District

of Colunbia" as follows:

The rapid growth in the fodoral financial contributions to
state and local governnents reflects a growing national
interest in the resolution of local problen.. This national
interest is true for the District as it is for any Anerican
city. But the Federal governnant has perhaps an even keener
interest in the District because it is the seat of
govornnont and a symbol of the nation.7

This view captures the essence of the federal interest rationale

for the federal payment to the District of Columbia.

Under the proposed state of Now Columbia, the essence of the

federal interest rationale renains the same.

The state of New

Columbia would still be the lone city/state, uniquely and

intimately associated with the federal government.

It is

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