'Everything is on the table right now.' - Mount Vernon mayor addresses potential budget shortfall

Making money is not the top priority for local governments, but cities like Mount Vernon depend on tens millions of dollars revenue to stay afloat.

News 12 Staff

Apr 28, 2020, 9:29 PM

Updated 1,483 days ago

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Making money is not the top priority for local governments, but cities like Mount Vernon depend on tens of millions of dollars revenue to stay afloat.
“It covers the expenses of staff, of equipment of insurance, the same way it does in your home,” says Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard. “We are definitely going to experience a major hit on a municipal level.”
The city has counted on the millions in the past. Property and sales taxes, parking and building permits are now uncertain, according Patterson-Howard.
She's leading an effort to address the potential budget shortfall head-on.
“We are looking at cost-cutting measures, including staffing, equipment, materials, projects, different services. Everything is on the table right now,” she says.
In its 2020 budget the city was counting on $22 million in sales taxes, $3.5 million in parking review and another $1 million in building permits.
With stores closed, people staying at home and construction projects halted for weeks, that revenue will be hard to make up.
“We can't cut our expenses out of this crisis. We are also going to have to look at alternative opportunities for revenues,” says Patterson-Howard.
The mayor is hoping the federal government will help out local governments with a bailout.
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