Oklahoma City preparing budget cuts due to COVID-19 crisis

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Downtown Oklahoma City

Downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is seen from the air, July 16, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As the American economy continues to suffer due to the coronavirus pandemic and the sudden drop in oil prices, city leaders in Oklahoma are taking notice.

On Monday, officials with the City of Oklahoma City announced that they were preparing annual budget cuts for all city departments.

“The COVID-19 pandemic’s economic effects have already been substantial. It’s the start of a very difficult period for our local economy,” said Budget Director Doug Dowler. “Departments are working on revised budgets until later this month, so we don’t have a clear picture yet of the impact on staff or services. We’ll do the best we can to limit the impact on services we provide as we prepare for a new economic reality.”

City leaders say the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma City Fire Department can expect a 3.3% budget cut. However, all other general fund departments might see as much as an 11.25% cut.

Sales tax is the biggest source of revenue for the General Fund and pays for day-to-day operations. The Finance Department currently estimates that revenue will be $35 million lower than originally expected.

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