The Longview City Council on Thursday will hold a workshop to discuss budget priorities in the wake of a projected $4 million shortfall due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
City officials earlier this month projected a 10% decrease in city revenue this year — down from a budgeted $38.6 million to $34.7 million.
The city is expected to spend about $39.7 million this year, or about $1 million more than its budgeted revenue even before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. So the loss of revenue due to the virus actually leaves a $5 million gap between projected 2020 revenue and expenditures. That’s the equivalent of the city’s entire cultural and recreation fund, or more than a third of the police department budget.
The bulk of the shortfall — $3 million — is related to estimated decreases in tax revenue, City Manager Kurt Sacha said at the time. Sales tax revenue, in particular, is expected to take a large hit, with an estimated 21% decrease.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and will be held virtually. Citizens can stream it on KLTV.org or join the video streaming platform Zoom. Or they can call any of the following numbers (it might be necessary to try more than one number if there is a busy signal):