The City of Winston-Salem is facing a major budget gap due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At a finance committee meeting Monday, Patrice Toney, the city's budget and evaluation director, presented a preview of the outlook for the next fiscal year. It projected a $13.1 million shortfall in the city's general fund budget due in part to a reduction in sales tax revenue. 

Toney suggested a number of ways to close the gap, including eliminating 20 currently vacant positions and postponing raises. 

“I think it's gonna be a challenging year and I hope we can keep everybody employed and not have a tax increase," said councilmember Robert Clark. "If we keep between those two parameters, I think we'll be doing a very good job. "

Winston-Salem is among many local governments contending with financial issues due to the pandemic. Last week, the city of Greensboro projected a $7 million deficit. 

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

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