City of Bend braces for budget shortfall of up to $14.5 million

The City of Bend is bracing for a two-year revenue shortfall of between $7 million and $14.5 million due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, City Manger Eric King said Wednesday.

“The City’s revenues come from people in Bend and visitors, and our region has experienced high unemployment, a drop in tourism and business closures,” King said.

King expects to discuss the budget issue and potential reductions at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting.

According to a release from the city, shortfalls could begin affecting the City’s budget this summer.

“The City of Bend collects different revenues at different times, so the full budgetary impact of COVID-19 on the City of Bend will be unknown for many months,” the release said.

Anticipated Citywide revenue shortfalls as of today include:

  • $5.4 million to $11.4 million shortfall from room tax revenues;
  • $400,000 to $1.3 million shortfall from lower property tax collections;
  • $700,000 to $1.2 million shortfall from fines and citations; and
  • $650,000 shortfall from highway gas taxes.

In April, King asked department heads in the city to submit budgets with cuts up to 10%. Proposed cuts included hiring freezes on vacant positions, reduced contractual services, reduced facility improvements, and delays in projects among other things.

Formal budget adjustments are scheduled for approval on June 17.

“Unlike some segments of the economy that were immediately impacted, the City has time to plan. We are working to avoid layoffs as long as possible to continue providing core public services with the resources we have,” said City Manager Eric King.

You can livestream Wednesday’s city council meeting at www.bendoregon.gov/councilagenda

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