The City of Madison has spent roughly $1.2 million on combating the financial and public health fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a Wisconsin State Journal article, Madison spent $125,000 in response to the pandemic as of late March, but a steep increase in funding was required after confirmed cases in Dane County continually rose to 278 and fatalities grew to nine as of Tuesday.
It is anticipated that further funds to negate the effects of COVID-19 will be required in Madison, including up to $16 million from the city’s “rainy day fund” — a multi-million-dollar emergency monetary reserve.
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At a Finance Committee meeting held virtually Monday, Madison’s finance director, David Schmiedicke, said just over half the $1.2 million spent went towards wages for city government staff and said the economic impact of the COVID-19 could prove to be far more detrimental than was previously predicted.
According to Schmiedicke, Madison could stand to lose up to $10 million in revenue from the hospitality industry alone as event cancellations are predicted to cause a steep drop in hotel visits for the remaining months of 2020.
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Madison does have a key advantage in the fight against COVID-19. Schmiedicke said Madison does not rely on revenue from sales taxes, and while a loss in tax dollars will significantly impact the city’s economy, Wisconsin’s capital city is better situated to address the virus than other communities across the country.