LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - It’s been over a year since the pandemic began and the question now arises: how well are local economies recovering?
Longview’s sales tax statistics (which is about 1/3 of total general fund budget) show that the pandemic caused nearly a $500,000 revenue decrease in the six-month period between April and September 2020. According to Longview city spokesperson Shawn Hara they were expecting close to a $3 million lost.
“In a normal year we would see about $20 to $22 million dollars in sales tax so we were expecting that we could lose up to about three million dollars in sales tax,” said Hara.
Recently, between October 2020 and March 2021, the total revenue decrease was $100,000. Although still a decrease, the monthly averages are getting better and showing recovery.
“We still lost money in the next six months as compared to the previous year but it was only down $100,000, so things are definitely improving,” said Hara.
As things improve the city is trying not to discount those who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. They are trying to work together with citizens because they know the economy won’t be strong without them.
“We just want to make sure they we are being good stewards of the funds that we have to provide the services for our residents for Longview and so we weathered the difficulties of this past year, we are in good shape moving forward,” said Hara.
The city hopes to restore some of cuts they had to make last year. A portion of that is lifting a part of their hiring freeze, so they can start to fill key positions again.