COVID-19 outbreak hitting Birmingham city workers in the pocketbook

B'ham looking at $75M in lost revenue

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham leaders are continuing to assess the damage from the loss of revenue due to the coronavirus.

The city begins a new fiscal year on July 1. The mayor has sent letters to boards and agencies telling them to expect funding cuts.

Mayor Randall Woodfin addressed city workers by video Tuesday telling them to expect to be hit in the pocketbook.

Since the coronavirus hit back in March, the city has lost about 20% of its revenue in occupational taxes and sales taxes. With businesses shutting down or temporarily closing, that number is expected to cost the city about $75 million. Birmingham employees have been told there will be no merit raises, cost of living raises, or longevity pay raises this year.

While some cities have moved to lay off or furlough workers, Woodfin said that is what they want to prevent. “Because of the financial constraints we are in, we have to make these tough decisions that is in exchange for making sure our employees can stay employed as well as providing these basic services,” Woodfin said.

Woodfin said all departments, agencies, and boards are looking at cuts. He is trying to protect employee’s jobs and provide city services. He hopes the economy turns around, but right now he says they have to prepare for all contingencies.

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