Local governments have always been asked to "do more with less", but the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched those already tight budgets with no sign of relief. While taxes are the primary source of revenue for the public sector, even those revenue streams have decreased as the use of taxable services--such as tolls, parking, and sales--dropped significantly.
Jack Reagan, a partner in UHY's Mid-Atlantic region, said high demand for services and political difficulty in raising taxes are not new issues, but "the pandemic only exacerbated these existing pressures, and most of the financial structural issues present prior to the pandemic will definitely be there once we reopen government."
But how do they hold out now? Reagan suggests governments follow the data they have and then monitor and react to these trends. "The effective governments continuously monitor because in reality, 'what gets monitored gets done,'" he said. "Don't be afraid to change course if that is what the data is telling you."