ICMA Joins Big 7 to Press Congress for Stimulus Action

Federal assistance needed urgently to address dramatic decline in state and local revenues

By Elizabeth Kellar | May 22, 2020 | ARTICLE

With millions of jobs and the economic recovery at stake, the seven leading organizations representing state, territorial, and local governments called on Congress to approve an aid package that would sustain vital services to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic (Big 7 Statement).

Revenue losses for states, cities, and counties have been dramatic as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic according to State and Local Fiscal Facts 2020:

  • States have seen sharp and steep revenue declines in personal income and sales taxes that provide most of their general fund revenue.
  • Cities, towns, and villages across the nation anticipate budget shortfalls of over $360 billion between 2020 and 2022.
  • Counties of all sizes expect a $144 billion budgetary impact through fiscal year 2021, including $114 billion in lost revenue from county-collected sales tax and local fees and an additional $30 billion in COVID-19 response costs.

Noting that the pandemic affects every source of revenue for state, territorial, and local governments, while sharply increasing costs for healthcare, emergency response and an historic surge in unemployment claims, the National Governors Association, Council of State Governments, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the International City/County Management Association, are pressing Congress and the Administration for prompt action.

Many state and local governments are facing a June 30 deadline to adopt budgets. Without federal assistance, states, territories, and local governments will be forced to make drastic cuts to the programs Americans depend on to provide economic security, educational opportunities, and public safety, and the national economic recovery will be dramatically hampered.

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