Donations flying out the door as poor struggle to be fed
By JOSH RESNEK
Long lines at the city’s food banks reveal the soft underbelly of the economy, and the inability of the nation to feed its poorest citizens.
Everything about the economy and the way we live as a nation has been turned upside down by the virus and the closing down of the American economy.
Everett is part of this unfolding economic disaster that is going to take sometime to undo itself.
The partial reopening of the economy is one thing.
A return to yesterday is another.
With budget season upon the city and state, giant questions have popped up about the city’s ability to finance its expenses to achieve the same budget as last year.
“We will be doing a 1/12th budget, from month to month for at last three months, it would appear,” Councilor Mike McLaughlin told the Leader Herald.
“We cannot know what the state is going to provide the cities and towns, but it is going to be substantially less. That means our budget will likely have to be cut across the board at all levels.
“To that end, we need to be preparing. There is so much that is unknown right now,” McLaughlin added.
The state has reported tax revenues tanking with the business shutdown and rising unemployment.
As of Monday this week, more than 1 million Massachusetts workers are unemployed.
Thousands in Everett are unemployed.
Many property owners are not paying their taxes and have been given a pass for a few months by the city government.
Others are receiving leeway on paying their mortgages until July from their mortgage banks or servicers.
Many others are withhold- ing their rent from their landlords, who are then forced to withhold mortgage money payments from their lenders.
“This is a tough time for landlords and for those who have to pay their rent,” said Councilor Mike Marchese.
There is the likelihood many of the unemployed will not go back to work, despite the best efforts of the government to prop up the economy until it gets going again.
Back to the coming city budget.
There is no way to know how the budget is going to play out except to be sure there will be less money in the city treasury than more money, and that it will be coming in more slowly than in the past year.
Paying for personnel is the city’s biggest financial obligation besides the public schools, which are funded separate from the city, but included in the total budget figure.
It is likely the mayor will be forced to cut as many as 20% of the city workforce if the state doesn’t come up with enough funding to support the city’s spending.
The problem, however, is that the state is going to have far less tax receipts to pass out this year to the cities and towns than last year.
In addition, the state will likely not receive the funding it got from the federal government last year.
It is a terrible circle, leaving everyone in it with less to work with.
A significant decrease in funding from the state will cause the city to cut many employees.
Many employees of the school department are likely to suffer the same fate because of the same reasons.
It is a fairly simple numbers game.
Today, the numbers don’t seem to be favoring the working men and women of this city.
City income is decreasing.
What that final number of decrease will be is the $64,000 question.