Counties Say They Need More Federal Money To Stay Solvent Amidst Coronavirus Shutdowns

Counties Say They Need More Federal Money To Stay Solvent Amidst Coronavirus Shutdowns

A Yonkers Fire Department EMT uses complete individual protective devices during the coronavirus shutdown in Westchester County, New York City. County leaders across the nation say they need help paying for important services as the shutdown continues.

John Moore/ Getty Images.

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John Moore/ Getty Images.

A Yonkers Fire Department Emergency Medical Technician uses full individual protective equipment during the coronavirus shutdown in Westchester County, New York. County leaders throughout the nation state they need assist spending for necessary services as the shutdown continues.

John Moore/ Getty Images.

County leaders across the nation are asking the federal government for more emergency help money as they watch tax revenues sink because of the coronavirus shutdown.

The federal CARES Act passed last month consists of $150 billion in direct help to states and cities, with some cautions. City governments with populations above 500,000 individuals get the cash straight. Those that are smaller sized can just receive funds that are funneled through their state. The National Association of Counties said that leaves smaller sized counties “at the mercy of the states– who are dealing with their own fiscal pressures.” The group has sent a letter to President Trump asking him to support efforts to carry cash straight to all counties.

County officials state another major issue is that CARES Act funds can only be utilized for the expenses of reacting to the pandemic, not to backfill lost profits due to the fact that of the economy’s shutdown. County governments describe themselves as being on the front lines in the battle versus the coronavirus and numerous are now dealing with massive deficit spending.

In New York City, Westchester County Executive George Latimer said the loss of sales tax and property tax earnings will take between $90 million and $160 million from the county’s $2.1 billion budget. Other nearby counties remain in comparable shape, he added. “We’re going to require the federal government to be there in a significant way,” he said, “unless we mean to see a collapse of the New york city metropolitan area economy.”

In Los Angeles County, Chief Executive Officer Sachi Hamai said, “Los Angeles County’s financial outlook has been significantly affected by COVID-19 and we project it will have a major effect on the programs the county administers on behalf of our 10 million citizens.” Hamai stated she believes sales tax incomes will be down 50 to 75 percent for the next couple of months and will be 25 percent lower over the next. Completely, that is anticipated to be a $2 billion loss in sales tax revenue. That’s money, Hamai said, that is important in moneying child well-being, look after the homeless and other social services.

Some counties have actually started announcing layoffs and furloughs. In Los Angeles, Board of Supervisors Chair Kathryn Barger said the county bought an employing freeze more than a month earlier. It’s now asking county departments to establish prepare for a possible 25 percent budget plan cut.

To assist with these looming deficits, the National Association of Counties stated some relief might be consisted of in a brand-new coronavirus package now taking shape in Congress. Democrats are pushing for it to consist of an extra $150 billion that counties can utilize to cover lost revenue.

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