Jul 29, 2014

City Projects Tax Revenue Shortfall

Borrowing may be needed to cover the post-Sandy dip, comptroller says.

City Projects Tax Revenue Shortfall

As many Long Beach business owners struggle to reopen their stores after Hurricane Sandy, the city is considering a borrowing plan to cover a projected shortfall in sales taxes and lower commercial property tax revenue for the current fiscal year, according to Comptroller Jeff Nogid.

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The City of Long Beach is working on projections that fall short of the $2.5 million in sales taxes in the $87.9-million 2012-13 budget, and the city may have to borrow to cover the loss, Nogid told Newsday. But the comptroller is unable to put an exact figure on the loss until the city knows the long-term reduction in sales, the assessed valuations of damaged properties and the amount of emergency funds it will receive.

Nogid said:

"We are looking at various projections . . . and we're adjusting our revenues down for the fiscal year.”
Hurricane Sandy arrived just months after the city declared a fiscal emergency and the City Council approved a three-year plan to close a $10-million deficit. The storm is estimated to cost the city more than $200 million in damages.

As many storm-ravaged business and home owners await any or adequate payouts from insurance companies, as well as loans, grants or other funding sources from state agencies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, city officials hope to gain a significant portion of the $60 billion Sandy aid package that Congress passed last month. The amount is contingent upon how much the funds are already committed to areas impacted by the storm, including New York and New Jersey, and how the remainder will be split between various municipalities.

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