Coronavirus Injects Mass Uncertainty Into Local Budget Discussions

Local governments and school districts are struggling to navigate their budget plans in the face of our new, difficult reality.

inewsource spoke to several officials who say the coronavirus pandemic has injected mass uncertainty for the next fiscal year and has left electeds scrambling.

Cities, counties, and schools will no doubt be receiving outside aid. But how much? And how much will they need to spend to mitigate fallout—direct and indirect—from the crisis?

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer compared the situation to 9/11, but said the budget impact would be even greater. His city is expected to take a huge hit from lack of tourism. But at least it has reserves. Not all cities are in such a position, noted League of California Cities President and Yountville Mayor John Dunbar.

“It has really created some very challenging dynamics,” he told inewsource. “We have certain deadlines that we have to hit, not just adopting our budgets, but other municipal deadlines. Some of those can be forgiven a little bit or postponed. But some of them we still need to achieve.”

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