Coronavirus Slams Budget
April 7, 2020
Coronavirus Slams City Budget
The coronavirus is projected to cost the City of Santa Maria at least $3 million in lost sales tax revenue – its prime funding source – through June (end of the fiscal year). The severe financial blow is anticipated to get even worse, placing the City’s services in a precarious position.
“This is beyond staggering,” Public Information Manager Mark van de Kamp said. “The City cannot sustain service levels or avoid impacts to our employees unless we get help soon.”
At this point the City is really at the mercy of the State Legislature and Federal government to provide it relief to help bridge this rapidly worsening financial chasm until the economy recovers, he said. The projected financial blow does not include losses from property tax, transient-occupancy tax, or permit revenues; those will be in addition to the loss of sales tax revenue.
Santa Maria is in a declared local emergency, under a hiring freeze, and has furloughed 93 hourly workers.
Nearly half the General Fund revenue – 48 percent – is sales tax including the local Measure U sales tax. The Governor’s April 2nd announcement to allow the deferral of sales tax payments to local jurisdictions will provide needed relief to small businesses and protect workers. The City knows the Governor also understands that sales tax resources fund police officers, firefighters, and many other municipal services including the essential service workers now working to fight the pandemic and keep Santa Maria safe.
Closures of hotels, restaurants and retail, among other businesses, hurt sales tax and transient occupancy taxes, and the statewide executive order to stay at home also is having a negative effect on gas tax revenues.
“We know this community strongly supports the City and the top-quality public safety services we have, but we expect a significant revenue downturn, resulting in service reductions,” van de Kamp said.
Questions may be directed to Public Information Manager Mark van de Kamp at (805) 925-0951 extension 2372.
Department: City Manager’s Office
Contact Person: Mark van de Kamp, Public Information Manager
Telephone Number: (805) 925-0951 ext. 2372 or cell (805) 720-4038
E-mail Address: email@example.com