The City of Yakima 2021 Preliminary Budget saw some cuts to both Police and Fire Departments. The pandemic hit the economy hard and with local businesses suffering, so has this year's budget.
Yakima's budget comes from retail, sales, and lodging tax revenues. The sales tax revenue spiked after the initial two-month drop in March, but lodging taxes still remain low and aren't predicted to return to regular numbers until 2022 said The City of Yakima Director of Finance and Budget, Steve Groom.
"I really hope that businesses throughout the city thrive because they collect sales tax and that helps the city. If the city’s businesses aren’t doing well then we have to consider belt-tightening services which would be you know will be parks, streets, police, and fire," said Groom.
The city can't afford to replace Police and Fire Department vehicles this year said Groom.
"It's not something we want to do, but something we were forced to consider," said Groom.
Groom said the city is doing their best to keep everyone afloat and provide services needed. He said he doesn't predict tax revenues to increase but as long as they don't decline, it's a win.
The City of Yakima won a national award for their budgeting last year, Groom said he hopes they can find a way to make it happen again.
Click here to download the full 2021 Preliminary Budget.