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City of Tallahassee facing millions in budget deficits due to COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 18:29:43-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The City of Tallahassee is facing big budget issues.

The City Commission is discussing options on Wednesday to balance its budget as 2021 quickly approaches.

Tallahassee is looking at $23.4 million in lost revenue for the third quarter of the year and looking at a general fund deficit of $7 million when the 2021 Fiscal Year begins.

The goal at Wednesday's meeting is to come up with a plan to balance both of those budgets.

For FY2020, the commission says more than $17.7 million in adjusted revenue from reserves, $11.3 million in federal relief money, and $6.4 million in reduced expenditures could help balance the budget.

Mayor John Dailey says with the impacts of COVID-19, the deficit is not what anyone wanted but could be worse.

"If you had told me a month and a half ago that we would only be looking at a $25 million deficit versus the other projections that we were looking at," said Dailey. "We will work this, and we'll move forward, and we will make it."

For FY2021, the budget is still being developed. One thing already secured is property tax rates staying constant at $4.100 for every $1,000.

There is also a recommended $250,000 for Tallahassee Police Department recruitment as well as additional overtime funding.

To keep FY2021 on track, staff is looking into a one-time-only occurrence of no annual raises for city employees as well as other measures to balance that budget.