The budget for the District of Columbia is prepared in conjunction with the mayor's office and reviewed by the city council, but is subject to review and approval by Congress. The fiscal year runs from 1 October through 30 September.
The local tax base is limited by a shortage of taxable real estate, much of the District being occupied by government buildings and federal reservations. Moreover, Congress has not allowed the District to tax the incomes of people who work in Washington but live in the suburbs, an objective the District government has urgently sought.
The District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority was created in 1995 in order to deal with the district's massive debt, and is in charge of the district's budget and financial planning. The 2001 budget had revenues of $4.87 billion, and expenditures of $4.86 billion, with an accumulated surplus of over $250 million.