A lot of folks are dealing with what is being called the COVID 19 – as in pounds put on during the lockdown.
In the financial report at the Greensboro City Council retreat at the ACC Hall of Champions on Wednesday, March 23, the City Council learned about the COVID 22, but nobody is complaining.
Coming out of the pandemic, nobody was sure exactly how city revenue would be affected, but as it turns out the news was good. The increase in sales tax revenue so far in this fiscal year shows a 22 percent increase over the same period in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Greensboro Budget and Evaluation Department Director Jon Decker in his report to the City Council said, “Sales tax was way above anything we anticipated.”
And that is on top of an increase from the 2019-2020 fiscal year to the 2020-2021 fiscal year of almost 18 percent.
The city’s share of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) sales this year is expected to increase by $2 million, which according to some is due to the fact that people had to spend so much at home with family members and then went out to celebrate being able to go out and celebrate.
Property tax revenue was largely unchanged.
The city did see a reduction in revenue from parking operations.
In normal times parking revenue would have increased this fiscal year because the city raised the fees for parking in the city decks and opened the Eugene Street Parking deck in June 2021, just before the 2021-2022 fiscal year began on July 1.
The city did have lower revenue from fees because so many programs and competitions were cancelled.
Also as expected the hotel/motel occupancy tax revenue was heavily impacted by COVID restrictions.
On the expenditure side of the ledger, expenditures are down in a large part because of the number of unfilled positions in city government. In other words, the city is having the same difficulty hiring people as everyone else.
Overall revenue is up and expenses are down, which is much better than the alternative.
In more great news the sales tax disproportionately afffects those with the least income. With hotel and parking revenue down at least Mandate Mayor can fund Broadway shows at the Performance Arts Boondoggle for a few more season’s before the shine wears off at the expense of poverty level citizens and the large paycheck to paycheck segment of folks.
Since many people don’t pay income tax, it follows that a sales tax is better. There are no forms to fill out, it can be voluntary, and everyone has some skin in the game.
Like a swarm of locusts, we are going to reproduce ourselves to oblivion.