As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, municipalities across New York state are seeing declining revenue and Lockport city officials are now producing two budget proposals for fiscal year 2021, one of which reduces expenditures to match the city not meeting typical revenue projections.
"The second budget is assuming that our revenues aren't going to be realized in full as they are in our typical fiscal year," city Finance Director Tim Russo told the Union-Sun & Journal.
Department heads have been tasked with submitting their budget requests to Russo by today.
The second budget proposal assumes a 20% cut in state aid, which is a possibility if the federal government does not provide emergency funding to states, which are also seeing major revenue losses. New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo already threatened to cut state aid to municipalities in the absence of federal assistance.
For the city, expenditure reductions will be different in each department, since administration did not set an across-the-board reduction rate.
"We're not doing a 10% reduction or anything like that," Russo said.
Mayor Michelle Roman said she expects to have better budgetary numbers by the second week of August.
Also making budgeting for 2021 a challenge is the state-set property tax cap, which is 1.56% this year rather than 2%.
"It will have an impact on the budget," Russo said.