Smithsonian Fiscal Year 2020 Federal Budget Totals $1 Billion

January 8, 2020
News Release
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The final appropriation for the Smithsonian for fiscal year 2020, which began Oct. 1, 2019, is $1.047 billion, a slight increase over last fiscal year’s appropriation of $1.043 billion. The Smithsonian’s Salaries and Expenses (S&E) account—its operating budget—is $793.7 million, and the Facilities Capital account—for major renovations and new construction—is $253.7 million.  

Salaries and Expenses

The S&E appropriation for FY 2020 was increased by $53.6 million, which includes an additional $35 million for deferred maintenance and repairs, $6.5 million to support Institution-wide programs (about $3 million for the Women’s History Initiative and $3 million for Latino programming) and $5.5 million for increased security staffing. The approved amount includes a funding increase of $4 million for fixed costs (utilities, rent, software licenses and other operating expenses) and other management support. Congress did not provide additional funding to cover the 2020 pay raise of 3.5%, but the Smithsonian’s federal and trust-funded employees in the Washington, D.C., area will receive that pay increase.

The bill includes language to allow the Smithsonian to purchase a new administrative building at 600 Maryland Ave. S.W. with the Institution’s trust funds. The purchase is intended to avoid escalating lease costs and increase efficiency by consolidating staff housed in leased locations in Southwest Washington and Crystal City, Virginia. Currently, the Smithsonian is leasing office space in that two-tower building (known as Capital Gallery), and plans call for more offices to relocate there as leases in other locations expire. The purchase will be finalized in the coming months, and office moves will be phased in over several years.

Facilities Capital

The Facilities Capital appropriation for renovations and repairs of some of the oldest and most visited museums is $253.7 million, including $224.4 million for continuing renovations and additional facilities project staff. Among the highest priorities this year are the National Air and Space Museum, the National Zoo, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and smaller projects at various locations.

The planning and design allocation of more than $29 million will go toward major revitalization projects such as the Castle and the Arts and Industries Building ($16 million), storage facilities at the Museum Support Center campus in Suitland, Maryland, the National Zoo and three older museums on the National Mall (Natural History, American History and the Hirshhorn).


A budget summary for the FY 2019 and FY 2020 appropriations follows:


Fiscal Year 2019 Enacted

Fiscal Year 2020

Salaries and Expenses (S&E)



Facilities Capital


Planning and Design for future projects










Total Accounts





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Linda St. Thomas

(202) 633-5188

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