With non-essential businesses closed, there is little to no sales tax revenue for local city governments. About 75% of the City of Anniston’s revenue comes from sales tax and the city’s finance director projects that the city could lose a good percentage of that revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis. Clothing stores, restaurants, and gas stations are just a few businesses that bring in a tremendous amount of revenue for the City of Anniston. With many stores closed, restaurants not getting its regular flow of business, and residents staying home, Anniston is projected to lose up to 10% of its revenue for this year.
Museums are another source of revenue that’s taking a huge hit economically by not being able to give school tours and rent wedding venues. Finance Director Julie Borrelli projects the city will lose more than $1.2 million for every month “non-essential” businesses are shut down.
Borrelli adds that big businesses such as Walmart and Lowes’ sales revenue has gone up by nearly 30%, but it still isn’t enough to make up for what the city will lose. She also says the city has decreased its expenses by temporarily laying off some of its part-time employees working for community centers and the parks and recreation department. The city has also had to increase expenses in certain areas due to the impact COVID-19 has had on the community.
The Anniston Police Department, Public Works, and garbage pick-up also falls under the categories that call for increased expenses. Borrelli hopes that stores will be opened during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.
Borrelli expects the city’s revenue to be stable again by the second quarter of the 2021 fiscal year.