As cities and states across America battle the ongoing health crisis due to COVID-19, they will also have to brace for the economic impact that is coupled with it. Jersey City, which has 101 confirmed cases as of March 25, according to Mayor Steven Fulop, is no exception.
“It’s going to take time for us to recover, for our restaurants and small businesses to bounce back from this unimaginable crisis,” said the mayor. “That’s why we need help from the state and federal level.”
On Wednesday, March 25, Fulop shared that the anticipated budget impact for the city is expected to total $70 million consisting of $50 million in lost revenue loss and $20 million in added expenses.
The revenue loss comes from significantly decreased payroll tax collection, from the absence of municipal court fines, construction code fees and parking enforcement fines and from “other critical financial factors,” according to Fulop.
“There’s no playbook for us to follow on this, and we are looking to save money wherever possible to minimize the impact for residents,” he continued.
The $20 million in added expenditures is expected to be comprised of emergency purchases, increased health benefit costs and overtime.
Jersey City is not the only municipality facing economic hardship amidst the coronavirus outbreak. According to a tweet posted by the United Nations, the COVID-19 outbreak could cost the global economy a whopping $2 trillion in 2020.
Michael J. Hicks, an economist for Ball State University in Indiana, predicts that 17 percent of U.S. workers (1 in 6) will be laid off due to the impending economic crisis.
As the future seems uncertain, Jersey City is preparing for the worst.
“The City Council is not only focusing on our response to this current crisis and what our residents are going through, but we also need to plan for what lies ahead, and that reality comes with some really tough decisions,” said City Council President Joyce Watterman. “I’m really proud of how Jersey City has been a leader for those to turn to during times of hardship, and I know we’ll tackle the next difficult phase that we all inevitably face. It’s the unfortunate truth, but it’s better to be prepared than be blindsided.”