City of San Diego considers slashing funding to all but most essential city services

Coronavirus

SAN DIEGO — The city of San Diego is considering slashing funding to all but the most essential city services as the number of countywide coronavirus cases increased to 341, and a third county resident died of the disease Thursday.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the city was facing a financial crisis, projecting that the city has lost $109 million in tax revenue during an economic slowdown resulting from the global pandemic.

“The hole being dug here is deeper than ever before,” Faulconer said. “Make no mistake, these are going to be the most significant cuts we’ve seen in San Diego in quite some time.”

According to city data, San Diego has missed out on $83 million in hotel occupancy taxes and $26 million in sales tax, the city’s third- and second-highest revenue generators. Property tax brings in the most money for the city, but less is known about that data at this time. Faulconer said the lost money represents the yearly budget of the city’s entire parks and recreation department.

Councilman Scott Sherman said the city was still recovering from budget cuts made in 2004 and 2008, and his colleagues on the council needed to make some “tough decisions” as they attempt to keep the city running.

“We are looking at the next three months of the fiscal year, but we’re looking at longer-term decisions as well,” Faulconer said. The fiscal year ends June 30.

“We can and will get through this together,” he said.

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