A busy April for Northglenn groceries and takeout dining kept the city’s spring financial losses manageable. City Finance Director Jason Loveland told Northglenn councilors that COVID-19 and stay …
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A busy April for Northglenn groceries and takeout dining kept the city’s spring financial losses manageable.
City Finance Director Jason Loveland told Northglenn councilors that COVID-19 and stay at home orders designed to stem the pandemics spread has been unkind to the city’s sales tax revenues, dropping them 25% April 2020 compared to the same time in 2019.
“We knew that March’s sales taxes were down 15 percent, so we were expecting to see a decrease in sales and use taxes.” Loveland said..”But 25 percent was actually a little bit better than we had projected, which was ultimately positive.”
Those decrease came from public health mandated shutdowns from mid-March until June.
General retail sales taxes and use taxes were down 20% in April 2020 and automobile use taxes were down 38%.
There were bright spots, however. The special tax revenues for Northglenn’s marijuana dispensaries were up 4% for April, and grocery purchases and money spent on food for consumption at home were up 7%.
“In March, those two numbers were quite a bit higher.” Loveland said..”The marijuana tax was up 14% and the food for home consumption was up about 40%. So, we had that immediate rush.”
Revenues for restaurants and bars were down 40% in April, not the 60% the city was expecting.
“They were able to be creative.” he said..”Delivery services helpful and take-out was a big deal as well. The marketing they all did and people’s desire to be out definitely helped. Again, it’s hard to say that being down 40% is not all that bad, but it’s better than what we initially predicted.”
Overall for 2020 so far, the city’s sale tax collections are down 10% compared to 2019.
“You can see the change we’ve seen for the year.” he said. “January and February were up just slightly, and then we had the sharp declines in March and April.”
Loveland said the city is working to process the sales tax results from May, due at the end of June. The city won’t know sales tax results for June until later in July.
Loveland said efforts the city made to cut spending managed to save 15% in the general fund. The city has decided to leave vacant staff positions unfilled for the time being and implemented a hiring freeze, which saved Northglenn roughly $1.1 million in April, about 6% of the city’s general fund budget.
The city also trimmed spending for supplies, services, utilities and staff training to the tune of $1.4 million, saving another 17.1% in the general fund.
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