Victoria County looks at possible COVID 19 impacts on budget

VICTORIA, Texas- COVID-19 surprised everybody and now Victoria county is taking a closer look at the financial impact. 

County Judge Ben Zeller presented with the 2021 budget planning calendar. He says, “every year we have different unique challenges, and that’ll be one, that will be one this year. Clearly, sales tax is where we anticipate any impact to be.” 

The ongoing pandemic has impacted revenue and jobs, specifically in the oil/gas production industry. Leaders anticipate impacts to the budget that is in the works for the 2021 fiscal year.

“At a state level, state leaders have asked most state departments to propose plans to reduce their budget by 5%,” says Zeller. However, the county does not plan to reduce its budget just yet- commissioners want to learn more about potential issues. 

“In fact, the most clear picture on what to expect might not be until later on in the year, after we’re either in the middle of or through with our budgets,” adds Zeller.

A letter from County Judge Zeller addressed department heads last week urging them to have realistic expectations as the county faces a revenue shortfall, however, at the same time he wants to make sure all county need are met.

“[This is] not unique to us, everyone is dealing with the same thing, and I think we’ll get by just fine,” concludes Zeller.

The first budget workshop of the year is scheduled for the week of August 3rd. It’s the first budget planning process where Victoria county leaders attend paperless.