City budget office updates its economic and revenue forecast, and City Hall misses the message

The City Budget Office delivers an economic and revenue forecast to the Mayor and City Council three times a year: in August, at the beginning of the annual budget process; in November, for a last-minute budget update before it’s passed; and in April as a check-in to see how things are going. Today City Budget Director Ben Noble delivered the April update, which he will present in person to the City Council’s Finance and Housing Committee tomorrow. The Mayor and two Councilmembers immediately issued press releases remarking positively on the economic recovery, highlighting $40 million in additional revenues, and salivating …

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Grim news on the city budget as revenue projections fall short

This afternoon Mayor Durkan and City Budget Director Ben Noble briefed the press on the city’s new projections for how the COVID-19 shutdown is affecting city revenues. This comes on the eve of a presentation to the City Council tomorrow morning on the same information as the Council begins considering a new $500 million payroll tax. Under their most likely scenario, revenues will fall around $210 million below budget. But in a more pessimistic outcome, the shortfall could increase to almost $300 million. Let’s dive into the details.

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