MONTICELLO – The COVID-19 pandemic has created “a disaster of major proportions,” Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek said on Monday. The county and its municipalities “have not dodged the fiscal fallout,” he wrote in a July 31 letter to Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Antonio Delgado (D, NY-19).
“We estimate that we’re facing a $10 million to $20 million shortfall in our $233 million 2020 budget, to say nothing of the grim prospects for 2021,” Potosek said.
He said the county legislature is endeavoring to avoid a property tax hike “by any means possible – including assessing an energy tax, exploring the sale of our nursing home, and, unfortunately, layoffs of up to 10 percent of our workforce.”
He said the continued closures of the Kartrite Resort and Indoor Waterpark and the Resorts World Catskills Casino Resort have already contributed to over $1 million in lost sales and room tax revenues.
He said the casino closure is estimated to cost the county $1.3 million to $2.1 million this year and even more to the state.
Potosek called on Congress to approve funding necessary to aid counties.
“Congress needs to act now, and make sure the aid comes directly to municipalities,” said County Treasurer Nancy Buck. “If it gets funneled through the state, we may not see any of it.”