With no federal aid to local governments yet and sales tax receipts on the way, Onondaga County will have to face the economic reality of the COVID-19 pandemic soon.
County Executive Ryan McMahon said Tuesday that tough decisions will need to be made by the end of June, and County Legislators need to make those decisions.
“So we’re going to have more data for the legislature. They’re going to have to act. There’s two ways you act,” said McMahon. “You either cut, or you raise revenue. The revenue raise is very temporary, but there is nothing else to do. Those are the two choices. So no and no doesn’t work. That means you’re not doing your job.”
Democrats and Republicans in the County Legislature have voiced discomfort with implementing any new taxes while many residents are already struggling financially, even if it means layoffs for the County. New York State is also floating cuts of up to 20% for local governments, which would mean a loss of tens of millions of dollars. McMahon said this is after local government has already started “cutting into the bone.”
“We’re digging and diving into the bone if we don’t get federal help and if we don’t get the State of New York to hold us harmless from further cuts,” said McMahon.
A fourth bill that includes aid to local and state governments is waiting to be taken up in the Senate. The House of Representative passed the $3 trillion bill in May.