While tangling with numerous problems coming up daily or hourly because of the COVID-19 crisis, Liberty County officials are also looking into the future to forecast what difficulties may lay ahead.
Commission Chairman Donald Lovette said, “The board of commissioners and constitutional officers should ready themselves for budgetary readjustments due to the impact of the coronavirus on our local economy.
“We all pray that the economy comes back with a vengeance. If it doesn’t then we must be ready to make the tough decisions to keep the county running as efficiently as possible.”
“All beneficiaries of the sales tax should also ready themselves for any shortfalls to funding their respective projects. This may include the elimination, delay or deferral of some county projects on the books. Of course, we won’t be alone in this. We will make the in-house adjustments as necessary and seek any federal or state assistance that may be available to assist us in the recovery.”
County Administrator Joey Brown also expressed concern about revenue.
Many taxes are not being collected during the public health emergency and a general slump in the economy could reduce the county’s revenue stream into the future.
Brown said impacts on the county’s general and other funds could include:
• Delay in tax revenues from various sources including motor vehicles and real property.
• Declines in others like fines and forfeitures, local option sales tax, and Special Purpose Sales Tax.
• Losses in revenues associated with solid waste, recreation and water.
• Impacts related to stock market returns specifically employer matched contribution plans
• Potential future impacts to health insurance plans.
The commissioners are holding their regular first-Tuesday-of-each-month meetings by teleconference and live streaming on Facebook.
They have said they will handle only pressing business for the duration of the emergency.
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