SOUTH SALT LAKE CITY — Earlier in April the South Salt Lake City Council projected revenue losses between $400,000 to $700,000 a month because of COVID-19. But as more numbers come in, the council may be forced to adjust their city budget every month.
The city’s Director of Finance Kyle Kershaw told the city council that February’s sales tax revenue was down 12% from their projections. That means it came in $87,000 under what they had budgeted.
“We certainly expect that decrease, that 12%, to grow significantly when we receive the March sales tax [receipts],” Kershaw said.
Kershaw reminded the council that the hit to their sales tax revenue came before Stay-At-Home directives from both the state and Salt Lake County were issued in March.
He says he also feels it will take time for the nation to rebound from COVID-19.
“We just don’t know what it’s going to look like … I think, just from a prudent budgeting standpoint, it’s one of those where we will probably assume a pretty pessimistic recovery,” Kershaw said.
Much of South Salt Lake’s sales tax receipts come from RC Willey, Best Buy, and new car dealers.
“With people being laid off or furloughed, a lot of that income that they would use to buy furniture, electronics, and vehicles is probably not there any longer,” Kershaw said.
That’s why he warned the council that they may have to adjust the city budget every month.
The budget is still being put together. The South Salt Lake City Council was scheduled to vote on it next week, but that will probably be delayed until May.
Mayor Cherie Wood indicated she’s trying to avoid layoffs. But she also doesn’t want to dip into the city’s rainy day fund, at least not yet.
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