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COVID-19 Economic Impact Forces Columbus To Cut $41 Million From Budget

Mayor Andrew Ginther tours the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Mayor Andrew Ginther tours the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Columbus City Council on Monday night approved a $41.5 million budget cut to the city's general fund due to lower revenues caused by the economic impact of COVID-19.

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said in video posted on Twitter that the city has worked to cover the budget gap with reduced spending for travel, delayed merit raises and a hiring freeze to trim expenses.

"The global pandemic has taken its toll on our community, physically, emotionally and financially,” Ginther said. “As many in our community are reeling from the impact of COVID-19, the city's already taken a $41 million hit to our budget."

Ginther says the loss of tax revenues will be reflected in next year's budget. He says federal CARES Act dollars offset some expenses. Some of the shortfall will be made up by using the basic city services fund that currently holds nearly $21 million.

“We know the economy is not going to fully rebound before 2021 and it could get worse before it gets better," says Ginther.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.