American Rescue Plan funds to offset shortfalls in Atlanta’s budget this year

City of Atlanta

City of Atlanta

Funding from the American Rescue Plan relief package will help Atlanta offset the coronavirus pandemic’s fiscal impact on the city’s current budget.

The city is expecting $170.9 million from the American Rescue Plan, which was approved by Congress and signed by President Joe Biden in March, said LaChandra Butler Burks, Atlanta’s deputy chief operating officer.

Roosevelt Council, the mayor’s chief financial officer, told the City Council’s Finance and Executive Committee on Wednesday that $64 million in relief funds will be sent to the city “in the next few weeks” that could be used to balance their current fiscal year 2021 budget. He said they’re expecting a $38 million revenue shortfall and a $16 million deficit from expenses.

“The $64 million...will literally probably cover the majority of whatever shortfall that we have on the revenues and the expenses side,” Council said.

The $64 million comes from the first anticipated half of the city’s federal COVID-19 relief funding, which is more than $85 million. Burks said more than $21 million of the remaining funds from the first federal allocation will be used to support technology, public safety, affordable housing, small businesses, food insecurity and workforce development.

“This is fantastic that we’re getting this money,” said Councilwoman Jennifer Ide, who chairs the committee. “A lot of hard work is going into figuring out how to keep us fiscally in good shape to address the ongoing issues of COVID.”

Council said the next half of the federal funds will come in August in time for the fiscal year 2022 budget, which runs from July 2021 to June 2022.