Annapolis finance commission sounds alarm on city’s financial future – Capital Gazette

The Financial Advisory Commission is expected to deliver a letter to Mayor Gavin Buckley and the Annapolis City Council this week outlining concerns about next year’s proposed budget and the future health of the city’s finances.

During its most recent meeting on Thursday, members of the commission expressed doubts about the city’s ability to pay its bills in two years, when the federal aid package it received during the COVID-19 pandemic runs out. Council members and the city’s finance director who attended the meeting, pushed back on the assessment, arguing that the city is far better off financially than four years ago and will find ways to balance its books.

Among the most vocal critics was Vice Chair Bob Burdon who warned the city has a chance in the current budget deliberations to cut spending and address a growing structural deficit that’s projected for the 2025 fiscal year. A structural deficit results when a government’s spending is more than it receives in taxes in a particular period, regardless of how the economy is doing.

“Looking down the road we do not have a pretty picture developing for this city,” said Burdon, who has served on the commission since 2009. “At [fiscal 2024 and 2025] we are going to look around and say, ‘Oh my gosh, how did we get into this situation,’ and that’s a situation we need to avoid.”

Finance Director Jodee Dickinson described Burdon’s “dire picture” of the city’s finances as inaccurate.

“I do not…

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