State auditor: COVID-19 had bigger impact on large city government budgets

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Wednesday, State Auditor Julie Blaha presented the annual 2021 State of Main Street, which this year looked at the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on city and county finances. . . Analysts at the auditors office found a mix of stimulus, spending reductions and the use of fund balances balanced lower revenue growth of Minnesotas cities and counties. . . The key finding of this years State of Main Street is that local governments faced a careful balancing act in 2020 and stayed on their feet, Blaha said. City and county budgets reflect a cautious approach to 2021, as weve seen 2021 budgets showing flat or decreased levels of overall revenues and expenditures when compared to 2020. . . Blaha noted that local governments will continue relying on property taxes, which is the largest source of revenue for counties and cities. . . In general, the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic had a greater negative impact on larger city and metro local government budgets, Blaha noted. . . The state auditor said the federal governments Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security CARES Act funding helped counter the pandemics financial impacts in 2020 and additional relief efforts will make a difference for local governments in 2021

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