Springfield city revenue drops 10% because of pandemic

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – Springfield city officials said they’re seeing a ten percent drop in their general fund revenue because of the pandemic.

The city’s top financial leader said right now, they’re down about $2 million from where they were in 2019. So they’re closely monitoring spending and being strategic about filling open positions.

“Budget-wise, we’re preparing to continue to be down about 10 percent, that’s the best estimate we have at this point,” said Mark Beckdahl, Springfield’s finance director. “Obviously things are unclear at this point and depending on how the economy recovers from the pandemic, we’ll see what our revenues look like.”

Beckdahl said most of their revenue is driven by income tax, but they’re also seeing a drop in other sources.

“We’re seeing a spike in water and sewer delinquencies as people struggle to pay their bills, so that has impacted our revenues there,” said Beckdahl.

To cope, Beckdahl said they’ve reduced their spending on permanent improvements by over $1 million and deferred some maintenance items to 2021.

“And we have about 25 vacancies right now,” said Beckdahl. “We’re trying to be proactive with public safety vacancies, but we’re being strategic about our other vacancies in order to save money.”

At the end of June, the city commission passed the tax budget for 2021. Beckdahl said that’s the first step in the budget process and is focused on revenue. He added that it’s difficult to predict under the current circumstances, but they are prepared for a significant drop.

“The overall income tax, we’re projecting it to be about $40 million, and that’s about 10 percent down from what we were expecting to be at,” said Beckdahl.

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