The BDN is making the most crucial coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact in Maine free for all readers. Click here for all coronavirus stories. You can join others committed to safeguarding this vital public service by purchasing a subscription or donating directly to the newsroom.
A curtailed outdoor concert season, fewer construction permits and less income and sales tax revenue coming in from the state will likely account for a budget shortfall of nearly half a million dollars for the city of Bangor this spring.
While the anticipated $465,000 shortfall affects the current budget year, which ends June 30, lost revenue is likely to carry into next year’s budget as well, according to Debbie Laurie, the city’s finance director.
City staff and councilors are holding a series of budget meetings this month to assess the loss in revenue related to the coronavirus pandemic that will affect the city’s $105 million budget. The city has already appropriated a one-time transfer of $1 million from its unassigned fund balance to cover revenue already lost and in anticipation of future losses.
The city made initial projections in late March of a 20 percent loss in revenue from business-based licenses and building-related permits — from which the city collects fees — as well as a reduction in the share of income and sales taxes the city receives from the state as part of the state’s revenue-sharing program.
City officials also projected that Waterfront Concerts, which as of 2019 paid the city about $1.40 for every ticket sold, would not have any concerts this summer. The city receives anywhere from $200,000 to $400,000 per year from Waterfront Concerts, depending on the number of concerts held. That money comes from the per-ticket fee and fees that Waterfront Concerts pays the city for police, fire and electricity.
Since then, the city has revised its estimate of revenue losses to account for the cancellation of the Bangor State Fair as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, the inability for the parks and recreation department to host summer camps at the city’s schools and the loss of revenue from rental car agencies that register vehicles with the city.