Cities predict budget shortfalls due to virus, tornado

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Two Louisiana cities are predicting significant financial losses this year, mostly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Lafayette Economic Development Authority said Monday the southern Louisiana city could lose 35%, or about $10 million, of its tax revenue for the rest of the year, KLFY-TV reported.

Lafayette is also already $18 million over budget for the current fiscal year, according to news outlets. The Acadiana Advocate reported city-parish finance director Lorrie Toups is looking at several ways to stabilize cash flow, which is expected to be the main topic of discussion at council meetings Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the city of Monroe is under financial strain from the virus outbreak, and a tornado during the Easter weekend.

Mayor Jamie Mayo told a Monday news conference the northern Louisiana city was on track to end its fiscal year on April 30 with a $600,000 surplus. Now, the city is looking at closing the year $1 million in the red.

Mayo said the city has crafted an expenditure reduction plan, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors is petitioning to Congress to work out an aid package for cities affected by the pandemic.

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