Onondaga County faces budget cuts while COVID-19 case numbers remain low

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Coronavirus cases in Onondaga County continue to remain low as proactive testing continues.

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said close to 10% of the population will be tested by next week. The overall infection rate since May 11 is at 5.6% with the 7-day average remaining at 2%.

New York State reported 3 deaths from nursing homes on Wednesday. The State does not release additional information on its cases.

Community spread cases have a daily average below 10. McMahon said he can say comfortably that Phase One didn’t have an impact on the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Over the next week case numbers will start to show the impact of Phase Two.

Restaurants received good news from New York State. They are now able to open with outdoor seating. Guidance was released Wednesday afternoon. This was a push from regional leaders and New York State was flexible to allow restaurants within regions in Phase Two to open. You can read more about the guidance here. Indoor seating is expected to open in Phase Three.

While this is good news for businesses and it generates revenue for the County, it won’t be enough to close the gap the coronavirus pandemic has left in the County budget.

McMahon said the first sales tax payment of June was off by 37%. It is nearly $9 million less than last year. Year-to-date growth is off by 12%.

Cuts have been made by the County along the way but paying to combat a pandemic was never budgeted for. Without federal aid and the possibility of New York State cutting funding, Onondaga County could be seeing drastic cuts from services and department restructuring. Revenue from residents in the form of taxes is also being proposed.


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