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Erie County: Poloncarz announces 2020 COVID-19 budget deficit plan in effort to address fiscal challenges

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Thu, Jun 4th 2020 04:05 pm

Administration ‘committed to addressing significant deficit’; gap closing measures revealed

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz on Thursday announced his 2020 COVID-19 budget deficit remediation plan, identifying budgetary gap-closing measures to address a projected $137.8 million pandemic-related deficit in the county’s fiscal year 2020 budget. The plan identifies seven key measures, including usage of some fund balance and closeouts of some capital projects, to bridge the gap caused by significant losses in sales tax, hotel occupancy taxes, and other revenue generators since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“Putting this plan together required input from county commissioners and department heads as well as from elected officials and other offices. It was not easy, but I would like to thank all who participated and offered constructive ideas to help move the county forward through these unprecedented times,” Poloncarz said. “These gap-closing measures are a mix of things that we can do at the county level, including using some fund balance, making departmental cuts, and closing out some projects. However, federal funding like the CARES Act is also a key component to addressing this issue.

“Erie County, like counties nationwide, needs another round of federal stimulus to help our economic recovery and I urge the president to work with House and Senate leadership to pass another package. If they do so, we can avoid the many proposed cuts to services and staff.”

Gap closing measures identified in the plan include:

  • 2019 carry forward: $29 million
  • Fund balance usage: $25.15 million
  • Capital project closeout: $4.6 million
  • Fringe savings: $8 million
  • Unanticipated health care savings and rebates: $16 million
  • CARES Act cost shifts: $15 million
  • Departmental cuts: $40 million

For more information on each of these measures or to read the full plan, click here.

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