Pandemic has cost Huntsville $15M-$20M in revenue

Pandemic has cost Huntsville $15M-$20M in revenue
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - $15 million to $20 millions lost in revenue for the city of Huntsville. That’s the estimated impact of the coronavirus on the Rocket City.

“We are down by over 50 percent for the month of April, remittances that reflect March sales,” said chief financial officer Penny Smith.

A lot of businesses were closed for more than a month because of the pandemic. But you might be surprised to learn 50 percent of the city’s budget comes from sales tax, and employees at Huntsville City Hall say they have seen an increase for the month of March even during the pandemic.

“We were up just very slightly on sales tax and that’s a good thing,” said Huntsville Councilwoman Jennie Robinson.

“The very slight increase came from grocery stores and home improvement stores. People were home so they were cooking at home and they were doing projects at home and they were cleaning up the yards, and that reflected very well for us in the slight increase in sales tax,” said Robinson.

But some tax revenue is taking a hit. Liquor and lodging taxes stick out with a loss of about 50 percent.

Right now, lost revenue is upwards of $15 million to $20 million, and some programs are being forced to make big decisions.

“Those funds support a lot of our agencies that we see arts and culture in our city from the Von Braun Civic Center to the art museum, etc,” said Smith.


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