Fire Service Likely To Suffer As Government Finances Stumble Due To The COVID-19 Pandemic
Covid-19大流行为县和市政府提供了新的经济挑战。消防部门可能会受到影响，因为地方政府应对经济衰退，共消耗冻结，招聘冻结和支出削减。一些地方政府希望来自国家和/或联邦一级的帮助。虽然一些政府有“下雨天的基金”来解决经济衰退，但并非所有人都这样做。此外，目前经济危机的程度可能超过了我们最严重的恐惧。一些火灾和EMS部门的拟议预算削减率为10％至25％。随着新财政年度在7月份开始，许多地方政府需要在明年到6月30日批准明年的支出计划。公共安全机构虽然公共安全机构在经济衰退期间受到地方政府受到保护的历史保护，但目前的剧烈衰退的严重程度可能改变方法。较低的销售税收收集预计将成为一个重大影响，尽管有关收入水平的实际信息滞后三个月，因为州政府收取税收，然后返回城市和县。南加州市就像美国周围的许多其他城市一样，依靠许多销售税和酒店税，4月份将于7月份提供。 For example, Hemet, California, estimates it has lost 34% of its sales tax revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic because consumer spending is down, and many businesses are closed to the public. Loss of hotel taxes is another hardship. The Southern California city is like many others around the United States that rely on sales tax and hotel taxes. replacing ageing fire engines The League of California Cities says COVID-19 will rob the state’s 482 cities and towns of about $6.7 billion in revenue over the next two fiscal years. Michael Pagano, Director of the Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says that municipalities that depend on sales tax revenue are being hit hard and quickly. In contrast, those that rely on property taxes will not feel an immediate impact, he says. The fire service in Hemet is being affected. Last year, the city paid $1 million in overtime. Belt-tightening will eliminate such expenditures this year. The city will also likely delay filling some open positions and will replace only one aging fire engine rather than two. They will be buying less safety and radio gear. Victoria, Texas, is another city among the many feeling the impact of lost sales tax revenue. fire fighter unions “It’s not an option for people to not get their trash picked up,” Victoria City Manager Jesus Garza told the Victoria Advocate. “It’s not an option for our police and firefighters to not work." With no definite end in sight, there are no easy solutions. Some scenarios, such as a salary freeze, would impact members of fire fighter unions. The president of the Baltimore’s International Association of Fire Fighters Local 734 says such discussions are premature. We know that the city has to balance their budget by July and that everyone is being hit hard by this global pandemic" “We know that the city has to balance their budget by July and that everyone is being hit hard by this global pandemic,” Richard Altieri II, president of the local fire fighters union, told the Baltimore Sun. “But to suggest this sacrifice of our members, who are on the front lines every day, is unacceptable and disheartening.” Baltimore has considered about $11 million in total reductions that may affect first responders. Coronavirus Relief Package California Gov. Gavin Newsom has warned that layoffs for police and firefighters could happen unless Washington provides financial help to state governments. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a $3 trillion coronavirus relief package that included $875 billion in state and federal aid. However, the Democratic-authored bill is going nowhere in the U.S. Senate. “[There will be] fewer firefighters and police officers to answer emergency calls, reduced garbage pickup frequency, and limited staff for required inspections, processing business license, and permitting,” Nicolas Romo, a League of California Cities representative, told the Sacramento Bee.