City of Tallahassee facing $23.4M of lost revenue in its budget due to COVID-19

City of Tallahassee faces a major budget deficit.
City of Tallahassee faces a major budget deficit.(WCTV)
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 2:27 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The City of Tallahassee is looking at a projected revenue loss of about $23.4 million dollars due to COVID-19, and a possible general fund budget deficit in FY21 of $7 million.

City Commissioners will have a budget workshop on Wednesday morning at 10; the agenda item breaks down COVID impacts in FY20.

City staff is estimating the 4.1000 tentative millage rate will remain the same.

The General Fund lost $6.7 million in state revenue sharing, half cent sales tax, gas tax, and a variety of parking, recreation, and service revenues.

The General Fund also saw expense reductions of $5 million for suspended travel, special event temporary wages and overtime, closed facilities and programs.

Decreased air traffic at the Tallahassee International Airport has also led to financial losses; passenger traffic has been down by 95%, causing a loss of $5 million.

StarMetro rider farebox, FSU contract, and general fund gas and sales tax revenue losses are $7.2 million.

The City also saw a utility fund revenue losses of $3.4 million in electric, gas, water, sewer, and stormwater. Utilities will be able to use reimbursements and/or reserves to balance at the end of the year.

CARES Act awards are expected to balance the losses of aviation revenue, StarMetro rider farebox, FSU contract, and general fund gas and sales tax revenue.

To balance the FY20 budget, City staff is recommending adjusting revenues by $17.7 million, appropriating relief funding of $11.3 million, and reduced expenditures by $6.4 million.

As the City works to balance the FY20 budget, staff is also developing the FY21 budget.

According to the agenda item, there are “known revenue and expenditure assumptions,” including:

  • insufficient recurring revenue to support employee raises
  • the number of full-time positions citywide will remain the same except for the addition of an Inspector General
  • holding operating costs at 2020 levels
  • delaying investments in fleet replacement and certain infrastructure projects

Staff is recommending Commissioners accept the FY20 Third Quarter Budget update, approve budge amendments, grant acceptance and authorizations, and approve the 4.1000 tentative millage rate.

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