According to the most recent sales tax data from the Texas Comptroller’s Office, the city of Humble earned about $992,595 in March, $236,265 less than March 2019.
"It hurts because it's $236,000 we were budgeted to get and didn't," Humble City Manager Jason Stuebe said. "For a city of our size, it's a significant percentage."
Stuebe said that although the city did not take the immediate 30% loss that was originally estimated, he is still expecting sales tax revenue to drop further for the month of April, which the Texas Comptroller's Office will release in June. The city estimates a roughly $475,000 decrease for the June report, he said.
"It's down 19%, but the stay-at-home order didn't go into effect until March 25, approximately. So that's down 19% [from] only roughly one week of everything being shut down," he said. "That still gives me a moment of pause of what the April numbers are going to be like. I think [the numbers] very well could be a bloodbath."
In the fiscal year 2019-20 budget, the city estimated a $13.5 million in sales tax revenue from local businesses in the city limits, which goes into the general fund. To make up the budget deficit, Stuebe said the city is delaying its Rankin Road expansion project as well as considering limiting certain nonessential services and programming. The city has not made decisions yet as to which services and programming it could include or if reducing programming will be necessary.
"I'm not foreseeing having to go to the department heads at this point in time and saying, 'I need things back, I need you to figure out where to find X percentage or X amount of dollars, and I need it today,'" he said. "I'm not at that point yet; in June, we may be at that point."