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Press Statement from Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan, City of Saratoga Springs, NY
Re: Questions about City’s Fiscal Outlook from the Local Press
Contact: Michele Madigan: cell 518-526-9377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
March 26, 2020
The City of Saratoga Springs is fortunate to have a healthy financial foundation as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. The City’s economy is based on a diversity of sources, many of which are closely tied to tourism, entertainment, social activities, and our yearly racing season. We have been assessing our revenue, expenditures, and cash-on-hand as well as various fiscal tools available to the city based on near term, long term, moderate and severe outcomes.
The 2020 General Operating Budget projects total 2020 revenues of approximately $48.7 million. At this time we are considering a scenario of a $7.8M loss of revenue for the first half of 2020. It is harder to judge through year-end, but we may be facing a total 2020 revenue shortfall of $16 million. This scenario equates to a 33% shortfall in 2020 revenue. We are planning to manage through this loss of revenue - and we are well positioned to do so.
Since circumstances are changing daily, we are proceeding with caution regarding how to address this loss-of-revenue scenario. Both over- and under-estimating our response has consequences. Given the City’s good financial position and excellent community partnerships, we have many options, including cash-on-hand, healthy reserves, borrowing, various bonding tools, and shared services.
It is too soon to determine what combination of these efforts will fit our needs. But it is not too soon to state that all options will be considered very carefully, against the sustainability of the City government, the needs of our taxpayers, and most importantly, the health, safety and welfare of our citizens. We will not make rash decisions, and we remain confident that we can manage through this crisis while minimizing disruptions to essential City services.