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The District's top budget minder says the city does not need to raise the "ballpark fee" it imposes on businesses to pay down the massive debt it took to build a home for the Washington Nationals, a long-term endeavor in the nation's capital as other sports-crazed cities grapple with the role of public funds in high-stakes stadium deals.
Good defense and timely hitting have been a boon this year for the Washington Nationals, and officials who mind the city's balance sheet are hoping for a share of the good fortune.
Staffers for the District's embattled mayor have sought the advice of a crisis-management expert who advised Monica Lewinsky and inspired the television drama "Scandal," according to emails obtained by the Associated Press.
D.C. officials are hoping a jobs program that saw success in Atlanta will take a bite out of an unemployment rate in the District that has neared 11 percent and climbed even higher east of the Anacostia River.
D.C. business and trade leaders sounded the alarm Monday about Mayor Vincent C. Grays call to increase or create 13 taxes to close a $322 million budget gap in the upcoming fiscal year.
"Using additional income to pay off the bonds," Ms. Lang said, "is something we would expect the Gray administration to do."
"The chamber would like to see the additional revenue raised from this fee be used to pay down the bonds on the ballpark, so the fee can ultimately be lifted," D.C. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Barbara Lang said Friday, noting that was the intent of the original deal they struck with former Mayor Anthony A. Williams.