The COVID-19 virus has created a host of financial problems for individuals, but it is also going to have a financial impact on Greensboro city government.
Greensboro Assistant City Manager Larry Davis said it was too early to know how the various funding issues being created by the many closures and cancellations because of the coronavirus would be handled.
For instance, the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts had its grand opening – scheduled for Friday, March 20 – cancelled along with shows for several months. The construction of the Tanger was financed through a public-private partnership with the city money coming mainly from three sources: the hotel/motel tax, ticket fees and parking revenue. There aren’t going to be any ticket fees or parking revenue until the Tanger can open for business, and the hotel/motel tax revenue is also taking a big hit.
Davis said that it was impossible to make any prediction on what revenue source the city would use for the Tanger, since nobody knows how long it will remain closed. Davis said, “Hopefully some of those events will occur in this fiscal year, but any expenses may have to have alternative revenue sources.”
The Greensboro Coliseum Complex has also lost a tremendous amount of revenue with the cancelation of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament, two rounds of National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s Basketball Tournament and all the other events that have been cancelled.
Davis said it was too early to tell how much revenue had been lost or how it would be replaced.
The regular benefitted city employees who work in the libraries, parks and recreation facilities and other city facilities that are closed will continue to be paid.
But the city has a contract with a private company to provide security guards where they are needed. Davis said that contract was based on person hours and since some security at those buildings would be necessary, it wouldn’t go away but would likely be reduced.
The bottom-line is that it is too early to tell how all this will shake out, but many of the revenue projections made in the budget are going to need adjustment.