A new coronavirus crisis: Cities and towns face financial peril as pandemic drags on

Washington Post
May 19, 2020
Across the U.S., cities, towns and villages are facing a new coronavirus problem. It’s an unfolding financial crisis, brought on by evaporating tax revenue from things like meals and shopping. Some localities may not make it, even after slashing budgets. One estimate sees 88 percent of cities having a budget shortfall in 2020 – and up to 1 million municipal workers could lose their jobs. In Vienna, Va., outside Washington, the biggest hit could come from a meals tax, where revenues have evaporated as restaurants stay closed. This tax revenue goes to fund large, expensive projects like a community center addition and a new police station. The town has a rainy day fund – and says coronavirus is a rainy day.

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