Springfield expects to lose millions in revenue due to COVID-19; true impact still unknown
幸运飞艇跟人工计划Springfield officials were already on their way to figuring out the next fiscal year's budget when the coronavirus hit. But now, they're making some changes.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划The city expects to finish its fiscal year on June 30 by losing close to $2.9 million of the budgeted $15 million in sales tax revenue due to widespread business shutdowns during stay-at-home orders — a potentially difficult situation for the general fund that pays for most of the city's operating expenses, like police and fire.
And while officials estimate losing about $2.9 million in tax revenue for the fiscal year starting July 1, the true impact on next year's budget will heavily depend on how much people are willing to go out and shop now that things are back open.
"This is kind of a best guess at this point," said city finance director David Holtmann in a presentation to City Council on Tuesday. "We really have to look at this on a monthly basis and see how we're progressing."
City Manager Jason Gage said he already cut about $1.13 million from the current budget year, largely through freezes on non-essential hiring and travel, reallocating money not yet spent on capital projects and reducing the amount being transferred into the city workers' employee compensation fund.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划But more cuts could be needed once final April sales tax numbers are released in June.
The city's budget document anticipates a total general revenue deficit between $2.5 million to $3 million for fiscal year 2020, and certain areas like the parks fund will also see relatively large deficits of between $750,000 to $1.2 million due to program cancellations and facility closures.
To make up some of that money and keep providing services, the city plans on using between $3.25 to $4.2 million from the city's self-insurance funds, which were created, in part, to pay for unforeseen circumstances that may not be covered by traditional insurance.
The idea with using the insurance fund instead of other reserves, Gage said in his budget proposal, is to make sure the city does not have to dip into other sources before moving into Fiscal Year 2021 where the economic situation is unclear.
"This allows the city to preserve the general fund balance under the current financial assumptions and until future economic impacts become more clear," he wrote.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划The city of Springfield is not the only entity struggling with budget impacts from the coronavirus.
The Greene County Commission last month heard estimates that it could lose between $3.8 and $5.2 million in revenue during the months of stay-at-home orders and recovery.
Like Springfield, Greene County's budget is heavily reliant on sales tax revenue to pay for the bulk of operating expenses, including general costs like payroll.
Both are anticipating losing around 20 percent of that revenue for at least the month of April.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划Gage, in his budget document, encouraged officials to diversify the city's revenue sources, though he noted that state law limits some flexibility of local governments to do so.
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While Gage didn't provide examples, some cities have a greater percentage of revenue from property taxes, which tend to be more stable.
幸运飞艇跟人工计划"Over-reliance on sales tax for operational needs during a recession creates significant financial challenges for the city," he wrote. "The city needs to identify approaches to better diversify our revenue sources in order to minimize this up and down effect."
City officials will continue their study of the proposal next Tuesday. Gage's complete budget proposal is available at https://www.springfieldmo.gov/310/The-Citys-Budget.
Katie Kull covers local government for the News-Leader. Got a story to tell? Give her a call at 417-408-1025 or email her at email@example.com. You can also support local journalism at w2qx66.cn/subscribe.