Columbus City Council on Monday night approved a $41.5 million budget cut to the city's general fund due to lower revenues caused by the economic impact of COVID-19.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in video posted on Twitter that the city has worked to cover the budget gap with reduced spending for travel, delayed merit raises and a hiring freeze to trim expenses.
"The global pandemic has taken its toll on our community, physically, emotionally and financially,” Ginther said. “As many in our community are reeling from the impact of COVID-19, the city's already taken a $41 million hit to our budget."
The city of #Columbus has taken a $41 million hit to our revenue because of COVID-19. This is on top of the necessary increase in spending for public health, public safety and technology to fight the pandemic. Columbus needs federal support now. @OhioMayors pic.twitter.com/LbZnKHwTqh
— Mayor Andrew Ginther (@MayorGinther) September 14, 2020
Ginther says the loss of tax revenues will be reflected in next year's budget. He says federal CARES Act dollars offset some expenses. Some of the shortfall will be made up by using the basic city services fund that currently holds nearly $21 million.
“We know the economy is not going to fully rebound before 2021 and it could get worse before it gets better," says Ginther.