As expected, League City did not see as much sales tax revenue in March as budgeted, though the city still brought in over 15% more compared to March 2019, recent data shows.
Despite the drop in revenue and an even bigger drop expected in April, the city is projecting to lose out on less than $1 million in sales tax revenue by the end of the fiscal year, according to city documents.
According to the state comptroller, League City received $2.49 million in sales tax revenue in March, which is when the coronavirus pandemic began in Texas. The amount is 15.01% more than the $2.16 million the city received in the same month last year, according to the comptroller.
Still, the amount is less than the city had budgeted. In September, the city budgeted to bring in $2.72 million for March sales, making the $2.49 million in revenue 8.71% lower than originally expected, according to city documents.
On April 6, Angie Steelman, budget and project management director for League City, sent a memo to city staff with two projections of sales tax revenue losses for the remainder of fiscal year 2019-20 in response to the coronavirus pandemic. One predicted a sales tax revenue maximum monthly loss of 10%, and the other included a 15% maximum.
Under the 10% scenario, the city projected to bring in $2.51 million in March, and under the 15%, the city projected to bring in $2.42 million. The actual amount of $2.49 million falls between the two projections but leans more toward the 10% scenario.
“Although March sales are a positive sign from initial estimates, the potential long-term business disruption due to COVID19 remains uncertain,” Steelman wrote in a May 8 memo to city staff.
In both scenarios, the city projects to bring in between $1.78 million and $1.88 million in sales tax revenue in April, the first full month of state lockdown due to the outbreak.
However, on May 1, city staff projected a new outlook that includes a slightly larger amount of revenue losses for the fiscal year.
According to the new loss projection, April’s sales tax revenue is expected to be only $1.53 million—26.7% than the $2.08 million originally budgeted and 15.67% less than brought in during April 2019, according to city documents.
League City budgeted to bring in $27.29 million in sales tax revenue. Under the three loss projections, the city expects to earn between $26.85 million and $26.34 million. The $26.34 million figure is the city’s most recent projection, according to the documents.
It is because the city brought in more sales tax revenue this fiscal year than budgeted before the coronavirus hit that the projected losses are not lower, the documents read.
Community Impact Newspaper will report on League City’s sales tax revenue for April when the data becomes available in early June.