SLO County facing up to $56 million budget shortfall

San Luis Obispo County is projecting a $32 million to $56 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year primarily because of the pandemic.

During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, officials said drops in consumer spending have prompted decreases in state and federal funding. In addition, while revenue from some county departments has decreased, spending related to the coronavirus has increased.

“We have many tough choices ahead of us,” said Wade Horton, county administrative officer. “To put this shortfall into perspective, the largest single-year gap closed during the most recent recession was $30 million, which is the low end of what we expect.”

SLO County is looking at ways to shore up the 5 to 10 percent shortfall including a hiring freeze. In addition, county officials are scrutinizing all discretionary spending.

“The public is invited to provide input at the county budget hearing scheduled for June 8 through 10,” according to a county press release.

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