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SLO County predicting up to $22M budget shortfall next year

Posted at 1:06 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 00:34:52-05

San Luis Obispo County is expecting a budget gap of between $12 million and $22 million next year.

County staff presented the 2021-22 Financial Forecast to the County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, laying out their prediction for the next budget cycle starting in July 2021.

Officials say while expenses continue to grow as expected, revenue growth is expected to shrink as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"While we don't have a crystal ball to predict the future, we have the ability to estimate where we will be next year. This helps us prepare for the next budget cycle," said Wade Horton, SLO County's Chief Administrative Officer. "The fiscal year 2021-22 forecast reflects how COVID-19 continues to impact our economy."

In June, the Board of Supervisors closed a $19.3 million budget gap that officials also said was due to the pandemic. More than $12 million of that was addressed through short-term solutions, such as the use of reserves. As a result, that $12 million gap will carry over into the next year, according to the county's report.

To read the county's full FY 2021-22 Financial Forecast, click here.