San Francisco

San Francisco Facing $1.7 Billion Budget Deficit Over Next 2.5 Years

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San Francisco is facing a $1.7 billion deficit over the next two and a half years without even considering emergency response spending on the coronavirus, the mayor's office announced Wednesday. 

The deficit is the result of the pandemic and the emergency response spending will likely increase the deficit beyond $1.7 billion. 

City officials said they must close a shortfall of $250 million this year. The projected shortfall over the following two years is $1.5 billion. 

That amount could increase if residents continue to be exposed to the virus and a slow recovery from the pandemic begins after late 2020.

Expected emergency spending on the coronavirus for the current fiscal year is about $375 million. Portions of the city's expenses will be paid for by federal and state money, but both future costs and reimbursements are uncertain, the mayor's office said. 

Mayor London Breed said the city has taken a "significant economic hit." She said more than 100,000 residents are applying for unemployment.

"We are in for a long hard road," she said in a statement. "This is going to require a lot of tough choices and creative solutions."

The city's budget process has been delayed because of the health emergency. Revised budget instructions will be given to city department's next week, and Breed will introduce to the Board of Supervisors by June 1 a balanced interim budget. 

A proposed balanced budget will be given to the Board of Supervisors by Aug. 1 with the board reviewing, amending and adopting the budget by Sept. 30.

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