For Immediate Release
June 9, 2015
Contact: Dionne Johnson Calhoun
Grosso Invests in Urban Farming in FY16 Budget
Washington, D.C.--During the FY16 budget process, Councilmember David Grosso (I-At Large) worked closely with his colleagues to ensure inclusion of his top priorities in the budget. Among his budget priorities is the D.C. Urban Farming and Food Security Act of 2014, a bill which became law on April 30, 2015.
The bill enables residents using their property for urban agriculture purposes to take advantage of a 90% tax abatement program. Additionally, the legislation enables those tax exempt entities that allow farmers to grow and sell produce on their property to maintain their tax exempt status. Although not funded to the fullest extent, the allocation in the FY16 budget is $460,000, which includes $60,000 for an FTE at the Department of Parks & Recreation and $400,000 for the tax abatement program.
"I believe a sustainable food system encourages local production and distribution that makes nutritious food accessible to all of our residents," said Grosso. "Getting this bill funded in the FY16 budget signals the District's commitment to environmental sustainability and food security."
The final votes of the Council on the Budget Request Act and the Budget Support Act are scheduled for June 10 and June 16 respectively.