‘Deleterious’ public service cuts likely without federal aid, new research predicts

Abigail Becker:

Reschovsky and his colleagues predict Madison will see a 2021 revenue shortfall of between $55 million and $86 million. This is a lower-than-the-average percentage than other central cities but still significant.

“One of the takeaways with respect to Madison is that relative to the 150 cities, Madison is going to be hurt less at least in (fiscal year 2021) … than the average city,” Reschovsky said. “Bad as it is in Madison, it’s going to be a lot worse in a number of other cities.”

Reschovsky said this is because Madison heavily relies on property tax revenue, which is a more stable source of revenue. Cities that rely on more volatile forms of revenue, like sales and income taxes, are more likely to experience sharper, more immediate declines.

Revenue from property taxes is unlikely to decline over at least the next two years, according to the paper. Even if they do decline, the effects would not be felt for a while, Reschovsky said, though they would linger.