Bloomington’s still relatively low figure in Thursday’s release of new estimates does not bear on the question of how accurate the 2020 census count was. That’s because the estimates start with a base that is calculated using 2020 census data as one of the components.
That’s not a complete surprise. A big impact from the COVID-19 pandemic on income tax revenues to Indiana local governments is not expected to be felt until 2022. That’s when distributions of local income taxes (LITs) will be based on the tax collected on income earned in the pandemic year of 2020.
Still, in late summer this year, local governments were drawing up initial budgets for 2021 with some caution baked in. Even though the 2021 LIT distributions are based on taxes collected on income earned in 2019, there was some concern that the ability of wage earners to pay those taxes this year might have been be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. That concern looks like it has been somewhat relieved by Tuesday’s estimates from the SBA.
But based on the SBA estimates, the increased amount of revenues that Bloomington can likely factor into its 2021 plans will not be enough to tip the balance from a deficit budget to one where revenues exceed expenses.
Responding to a query from The Square Beacon, city communications director Yael Ksander said that “[T]he allocation for the City would still not equal the amount of deficit spending the 2021 budget proposes.”