Huntsville city departments cut budgets over projected tax shortfall

Huntsville city departments cut budgets over projected tax shortfall

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - This week Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said a preliminary projection shows the city will lose $15 million in tax revenue as result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Huntsville city spokesperson Kelly Schrimsher said Battle asked each department to cut its budget by 5 percent.

She said there are no plans to cut services or personnel.

She sent WAFF this statement:

At present, the Mayor has asked all departments to prepare to cut their respective budgets 5% and imposed a hiring freeze on new positions. Finance has met with each department head and they have made their adjustments for the fiscal year. Cuts will not impact city services. No plans to cut personnel. It’s belt-tightening at this point.

City administrator John Hamilton said each department is different, and the 5 percent cuts will come in different ways. He gave the examples of reduced overtime work, the elimination of travel and delaying “modernization” purchases such as new equipment or software.

Battle said the city will have a clearer picture of the financial situation in the coming months.

“First of July we will have May numbers where we’ve been partially back open most of the month. We’ll get a real good picture at that time, so it’s probably three months before we get a real accurate forecast,” he said.

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